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(IfurttcU Hmuwaita Sithraty 

3tt)aca. New ^ark 

THE JAMES VERNER SCAIFE 

COLLECTION 

CIVIL WAR LITERATURE 



THE GIFT OP 

JAMES VERNER SCAIFE 

CLASS OF 1889 

1919 



Cornell University Library 
E527.5 97th .P94 

History of the Ninety-seventh regiment 



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3 1924 030 914 455 
oiin Overs 




Cornell University 
Library 



The original of tiiis book is in 
the Cornell University Library. 

There are no known copyright restrictions in 
the United States on the use of the text. 



http://www.archive.org/details/cu31924030914455 





Brev'Maj G-enDSV 



HISTOID ^^ 



OF THE 






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PENNSYLVANIA VOLUNTEEE INFANTRY, 



DURING THE 




iS' 



1861-65, 



WITH BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF ITS FIELD AND STAFF OFFICERS 

AND A COMPLETE RECORD OF EACH OFFICER 

AND ENLISTED MAN. 



PBEPABED AT THE REQUEST OF THE BEOIMENT, 



K 11. %n 



MAJOR NINETY-SEVENTH PA. VOLS AND BEEVET COtiONEL V. S. VOLS. 



ILLUSTRATED WITH STEEL PORTRAIT ENGRAVINGS AND WOOD CUTS. 



PHILADELPHIA: 
Published by the Author for the Subscribers. 

1875. 



S 

mi 



Entered acoordikg to Act of CoiMaRESB. in the Year 1875, by 

TSAIAH PRICE, 
In the Office of the Librarian of Gongresb, at Washington, 



PRINTERS, 

No. 23 South Tenth Street, 
Philadelphia. 



CONTENTS. 

Pkefacb, 3. 

Introductoey Corkespondence, 6. 

In War Time, 8. 

Dedicatory, 9. 

Chapter I. — Organization of companiea and company promotions, 11; Co. A, 13; Co. 
B, 20; Co. C, 34; Co. D, 37; Co. E, 44; Co. P, 47; Co. G, 51; Co. H, 55; Co. I, 
62; Co. K, 65; Guss Pencibles Band, 69; Independent Company, 70. 

Chapter II. — Camp "Wayne — progress in organization, 71 ; correspondence in regard to 
legislative action, 72; drill and duties in camp — interest of citizens, 77; official visit 
of Gov. Curtin and staff, 78; flag presentation, 79; the Governor's speech, 80; reply 
by Col. Guss and Adjt. Carruthers, 82; marching orders, 83; departure from 
Camp Wayne — ovation from citizens at West Chester, 84; Philadelphia — Cooper 
Shop and Union Refreshment Saloons — greetings at Chester and Wilmington, 
85; Baltimore — Washingtoc — Camp H. Jones Brooke, 86; new Springfield rifles — 
return to Baltimore, 87; Portress Monroe, Va., 88; Camp Hamilton, 89; drill and 
picket duty, 90; firing by the enemy at Sewell's Point — a winter morning in camp, 
91 ; the first discharges and the first death in the regiment, 92; October to December, 
1861. 

Chapter III. — Department of the South — marching orders, 93; voyage to Port Royal, 
S. C. — storm at sea, 94; Hilton Head — hospitality of 76th P. V., 95; assigned to 
Gen. H. G. Wright's brigade, 96; advance at Port Royal Ferry, 97; detail for re- 
cruiting service — expedition to Warsaw Sound, Ga., 98; Tybee Island and siege 
of Port Pulaski, 99; death in the regiment, 101; operations on the coast of Plorida — 
capture of Port Clinch and occupation of Pernandina, 104; capture and occupation 
of Jacksonville, May port and St. Augustine, 105; defensive operations at Jackson- 
ville — night attack and capture of outposts by the enemy — their repulse and loss — 
a rebel colonel and flag of truce, 106; reconnoissance by the 97th P. V. — Brig. 
Gen. T. W. Sherman relieved of command of department by Maj. Gen. David 
Hunter — evacua;tion of Jacksonville, 107; return to Pernandina and to Hilton Head, . 
108; muster of officers by order of Gen. Hunter — Gen. Wright's brigade ordered 
to Edisto — hospitality of 55th P. V. — inspection and review, 109; resignations and 
discharges — preparation for an advance, 110; Decembe'r, 1861, to June, 1863. 

Chapter IV. — Gen. Hunter's advance — troops cross to John's Island, 111; the march 
to Live Oak Point — rebel cavalry scouts fire upon Co. B — the march through mud 
and rain to Legareeville, 113; recruiting party rejoin regiment — reconnoissance by 
97th P. V. and skirmish with the enemy— -the wounded and prisoners captured — 
thanks .of Gen. Wright, 113; occupation of James Island — the detachment at Le- 
gareeville, 114; position of forces on James Island — enemy intrenched at Seces- 
sionville and other points, 115; 97th P. V. on picket — enemy shell the lines — their 
skirmishers fired upon — action at Grimball's Plantation, 116; the position and 
forces engaged — Col. Guss in command — his coolness and judgment in arranging 
the troops for action, 117; desperate attempts of the enemy to break the lines — their 
repulse — the loss on both sides, 118; accounts of the action, 120; severity of picket 
duty — a night attack, 121; the casualties, 133; action at SecessionviUe, 124; a 
desperate assault and unsuccessful result — the 97th P. V. cover the retreat — con- 
gratulations from the troops and thanks of Gen. Benham,* 125; Col. Williams' 
letter to Gov. Curtin — congratulatory order to the troops, 126; commissions and 
promotions — recapitulation of duty — evacuation of James and Edisto Islands, 128; 
June to July 16, 1863. 



IV CONTENTS. 

Chapter V.— Return to Hilton Head— encamp outside the stockade, 130; Col. Guss m 
command of post— other officers on post duty, 131; review of troops hy Maj, Gen. 
Hunter— picket duty on Broad River, 133; muster out of the band— sword pre- 
sentation to Col. Guss, 133; Gen. Hunter relieved of command of department by 
Brig. Gen. John M. Brannaa, U. S. V.— second detail for recruiting service— Maj. 
Gen; O. M. Mitchel assigned to command of department, 184; active operations 
commenced— Gen. MitcheVs visit to the regiment, 135; camp at Spanish "Wells, 
136; Brig. Gen. A. H. Terry assigned to command of brigade, 137; congestive 
and yellow fever— deaths in regiment— action at Pocotaligo, 189; death of Gen. 
Mitchel — Gen. Brannan resumes command, 140; death and burial of Lieut. Morton, 
141; removal to St. Helena Island, 143; Thanksgiving Day at Fort Pulaski, 144; 
Christmas Day at St. Helena— regiment returns to Hilton Head— Maj. Gen. Hunter 
again in command of department, 145; inspection and review of regiment — detail 
on duty at Braddock's Point — arrival of additional troops, 146; remains of Lieut. 
Gardner and Priv. McKinly, of Co. C, sent home for burial, 147; boat drill by 
troops— detachment on duty at Paris Island, 148; a ballad of Paris Island, 149; 
theatrical performances — rebel raid and capture at signal station, Spanish Wells, 
150; night march of 97th P. V., 151; July, 1863, to April, 1863. 

Chapter VI. — Second expedition against Charleston^Col. Guss assigned to command 
of brigade, 153; Polly Island, Hilton Head and Edisto, 158; regiment transferred to 
Gen. Stevenson's brigade at Seabrook — Col. Guss in command of troops at Botany 
Bay Island, 154; enemy attack pickets at Seabrook, 157; reoccupation of James 
Island, 158; operations on Folly Island, 159; assault and capture of the enemy's 
works on Morris Island, 161; Gen. Terry's operations on James Island, 162; action 
at Stevens' Landing, 163; evacuation of James Island, 164; Morris Island — first 
assault on Fort Wagner, 166; preliminary siege operations, 167; second assault 
on Port Wagner, 168; repulse — gathering up the wounded, 174; statement of 
casualties, 176; the hospitals and Miss Clara Barton, 177; further siege operations, 
178; batteries erected, 180; flag of truce — exchange of prisoners, 183; arrival 
of reinforcements — Col. Guss in command of 1st brigade, 1st division, 10th corps, 
183 ; attack of enemy upon picket boats in Light House Creek, in charge of Capt. 
Paine, 100th N. Y., and Lieut. H. Odiorne, Co. D, 97th P. V.— Privs. Eyre and 
Russell killed, and Sapp wounded, 184; Swamp Angel Battery, 185; bombardment 
of Fort Sumter, 187; effect of bombardment, 188; Gen. Gillmore demands the 
surrender of Forts Wagner and Sumter to avoid a bombardment of Charleston, 
189; the Swamp Angel opens on the city — the effect described by a Charleston 
paper, 189; enemy charge upon the sappers and miners and are repulsed — men of 
the 97th P. V. wounded, 190; 97th P. V. advance and engage the enemy's pickets — 
charge of 24th Mass. "upon the enemy, at the sand ridge, supported by the 97th 
P. V. — capture of the enemy's line and entire force in the trenches — the fifth and 
last parallel — torfiedoes and narrow escape of Capt. Walker, 1st N. Y. Engs., 191; 
continued bombardment of Fort Sumter and its effect, 193; incidents of the siege, 
194; arrangements for a final assault, 198; Forts Wagner and Gregg occupied, 199; 
complimentary order of Gen. Gillmore to the troops, 304; review of. the forces at 
Morris Island, 305; recapitulation of duty, 306; April 1 to October 1, 1863. 

CHAPrBR VII.— Departure from Morris Island, 309; Fernandiua, Fla., 310; details for 
post duty, 313; hospitality of naval officers at post, 316; conscripts assigned to 
regiment, 318; visitors and socia) interest— inland excursions, 231; Thanksgiving 
Day observances, 233; salute in honor of Grant's victories, 233; desertion of sub- 
stitutes and arrests, 234; Christmas festivities, 235; visit of Gen. Gillmore, 228; exe- 
cution of deserters, 230; capture of Camp Cooper, 232; expedition to Woodstock 
and King's Ferry Mills, 234; re-enlistment of veterans, 240; return of Col. Guss 
and other offldfers with veterans on furlough, 241; Maj. Pennypacker in command 
of post — resignation of Lieut. Col. Duer — promotion of field officers, 343; pro- 
motion of line officers, 343; regiment relieved from duty at Fernandina, 244; de- 
parture for Port Royal, 245; October 1, 1863, to April 25, 1864. 



CONTENTS. V 

Chapter VIII.— Embark at Port Royal on steam transport North Star, for Fortress 
Monroe, Va., 346; whisky and insubordination — a thrilling incident, 347; Gloucester 
Point, Va., and Yorktown, Va.— organization of the Army of the James, 348; 
grand review of troops by Maj. Gen. B. F. Butler — departure of the expedition 
from Yorktown, Va., for James River, 349; incidents— sits of Jamestown, 350; 
capture of City Point, Va. — advance through Bermuda Hundred, Va., 351; con- 
tinued advance — encounter with enemy at Port Walthall Junction, 353; defensive 
line established from the James to the Appomattox, 354; advance upon Richmond 
and Petersburg Railroad at Chester Heights — the 97th P. V. destroy the road and 
telegraph — iction at Swift Creek, 355; forced march to support Gen. Terry's ad- 
vance, 357; return of veterans, 359; Proctor's Creek, Drury's Bluff and Port 
D.irling, 363; advance and action on Wier Bottom Church Road, 367; action at 
Poster's Place, Va., 370; April 35, 1864, to May 30, 1864. 

Chaptbk IX.— Action at Green Plains, Va., 373; gallant charge of the 97th P. V. upon 
Gen. Pickett's division — fearful loss — Lieut. Col. Pennypacker wounded, 378; the 
killed and wounded, 380; endeavor to cast blame upon the gallant commander of 
the 97th P. V. — a correction, 383; Beauregard's assault upon Gen. Butler's centre 
repulsed by Gillmore's 10th corps, 284; troops dispatched to join Gen. Grant's 
Army, 285; White House, Va.— 1st Pennsylvania Reserves, 236; action at Cold 
Harbor, Va., 387; return to City Point — advance against Petersburg, 389; action 
at Petersburg Heights, 391; capture of the enemy's strong lines — the advance 
checked by the arrival of Lee's veteran forces, 293; siege operations, 393; 3d 
division returns to Bermuda Hundred, 395; resignation of Col. H. R. Guss, 390; 
correspondence and testimonial, 397; farewell letter of Col. Guss, 398; May 30 to 
June 33, 1864. 

Chapter X. — Gen. Gillmore relinquishes command of the 10th corps^3d division, 10th 
corps, again detached — return to Petersburg front, 399 ; severity of service in the 
trenches, 800 ; action at Cemetery Hill, Va., 301 ; casualties, 303 ; details for spe- 
cial duty, 303; visitors from West Chester, 304; Maj. Gen. D. B. Birney as- 
signed to command of 10th corps — 97th P. V. transferred to 3d brigade, 3d division' 
305 ; Rev. D. W. Moore appointed chaplain — baptism of fire, 306 ; action at Peters- 
burg Mine, 307; casualties in 97th P. V., 311; 3d division rejoin 10th corps at 
Bermuda Hundred, Va. — terrific explosion, 313 ; Lieut. Col. Pennypaeker promoted 
to colonel — his return to the regiment^operations north of the James, 813 ; 
actions at Deep Bottom and Strawberry Plains, Va., 315; death of Adj. Carru- 
thers, 316; other casualties, 317; flag of the 97th P. V. — encampment at Deep 
Run, 318 ; complimentary order of Maj. Gen. D. B. Birney — muster out of men 
of Company A, 319 ; action at Wier Bottom Church — return to Petersburg front — ■ 
Col. Pennypacker assigned to command of brigade, 330; second flag received — • 
muster out of men of Companies C and D, 323; actions at Port Harrison, New 
Market Heights and Port Gilmer, 328; repulse of the enemy by the 10th corps at 
Charles City Road, 325; death of Maj. Gen. D. B. Birney — Gen. Terry appointed 
to command of 10th corps, 327 ; congratulatory order of Gen. Butler, 329 ; action 
at Darby Town, Va. — death of Capt. Hawkins, 331 ; muster out of officers and men 
at expiration of term, 333; promotions — preparation of winter quarters at Chapin's 
Farm, 335 ; farewell letter of Chaplain Moore, 336 ; reorganization of the Army of 
the James, 337 ; .Tune 33 to December 3, 1864. 

Chapter XI. — Department of North Carolina — Gen. Butler's expedition to Port Fisher, 
338 ; movements of land forces and naval fleet — storm, 340 ; bombardment and 
landing of Butler's forces — reconnoissance by Gen. Weitzel— his adverse report — 
Gen. Curtis' advance and capture of the enemy's outlines, 341; Curtis' preparation 
to storm Fort Fisher — orders to withdraw the forces — an unsolve.d problem — return 
to Chapin's Farm, 342 ; comments in regard to the failure of the expedition — 
Grant's letter of instruction, 343; Gen. Butler relieved of the command of the de- 
partment — Gen. Oill appointed — Butler's farewell to his troops, 844 ; second ex- 
pedition under Gen. Terry — Gen. Grant's letter of instructions, 845; arrival of Gen. 



VI CONTENTS. 

Terry's forces at Federal Point— successful landing of the troops— Gen. Terry's 
official report of the operations at Fort Fisher, 347 ; Gen. Ames' report to Gen. 
Terry, 350; table of casualties— Pennsylvania troops in action at Fort Fisher, 351; 
Admiral Porter's report to the Secretary of the Navy, 353; thanks of the nation 
tendered by the Secretary of War, 353; the casualties at Fort Fisher, 355; brevet 
promotions by the War Department, 357; the advance upon Fort Anderson and 
Wilmington, 359; occupation of Wilmington, 361; relief of starving and dying 
Union prisoners, 363; advance toward Goldsboro' — Hoke repulsed, 365; opera- 
tions by Gen. Terry's command — thanks of Gen. Sherman in field orders — 97th 
P. V. as escort to Gen. Kilpatrick's wagon train, 366; news of Lee's surrender, 
367; Johnson's surrender to Sherman — occupation of Raleigh, N. C, 368; Col. 
Pennypacker promoted to brigadier general, TJ. S. V. — his letter of farewell to his 
regiment, 369; subsequent promotions, 370; occupation of Gaston and Weldon, 
N. 0., 371; muster out at Weldon, N. C— return to Philadelphia, 372; the final 
disbanding — roster of field, stafi' and company ofiicers, 373; official record of en- 
gagements, 375; additional record and recapitulation, 376; December 3, 1864, to 
September 4, 1865. 

Chaptee XII. — Recruiting Service — ^first detail at Fortress Monroe, Va., December 8, 
1861, 1st Lieut. Taylor and detachment, 377; detail rejoin the regiment at War- 
saw Sound, Ga., 378; second detail at Hilton Head, January 3, 1863, Capt. Price 
and detachment, 379; stationed at West Chester, Chester and Oxford — irksomeness 
of this service — efforts to return — the detachment relieved and ordered to Harris- 
burg, thence to New Tork — embark for Port Royal — shipwreck off Cape Hatteras, 
380; difficulty of landing — encampment on shore, 381; a serious accident and a 
lively incident, 382; arrival of the George Peabody and Qr.-Mr. Ellis — a hasty 
embarking — arrival at Hatteras Inlet — a week's delay — an unaeaworthy craft — re- 
turn to New York— further delay — re-embark for Port Royal, 383; arrival at Port 
Royal — more delay — the deserted camp at Edisto — Stono River and arrival at 
Legareeville — rejoin the regiment — list of recruits — report for duty, 884; Capts. 
Guss and Wayne with men of each company detailed at Hilton Head, S. C. — 
an account of service — list of recruits — resignation of Capt. Wayne, 885; Capts. 
Lewis and Hoopes ordered to draft rendezvous for men for regiment, 386; 
voyage of the Arago — exciting chase — capture of a blockade runner, 387; report 
at Philadelphia — Capt Lewis and part of detail return with detachment of men, 
388; Capt. Hoopes and remainder return with second detachment — Maj. Price 
ordered to rendezvous for drafted men in Pennsylvania, 389; men assigned to 
regiment, 390. 

Chapteb XIII.— Biographical sketches of field and staff officers, 391; Brevet Brig. Gen. 
Henry R. Guss, U. S. V., 392: Brevet Maj. Gen. G. Pennypacker, U. S. Army, 399; 
Lieut. Col. A. P. Duer, 432; Brevet Col. Isaiah Price, 434; Capt. Harry W. Carru- 
thers, 437; Surgeon John R. Everliart, 448; Capt. George W. Hawkins, Co. I, 446; 
Col. John Wainwright, 451; Lieut. Col. William H. Martin, 454; Chaplain Wil- 
liam M. Whitehead, 456. 

Chaptbb XIV. — Roster and record of service — field officers, 457; staff officers, 460; non- 
commissioned staff, 461; Guss Fencibles Band, 462; Co. A, Guss Fencibles, 464; 
Co. B, Chester County Grays, 475; Co. C, Paoli Guards, 485; Co. D, Concord- 
ville Rifles, 496; Co. E, Mulligan Guards, 508; Co. F, National Guards, 517; Co. 
G, Broomall Guards, 527; Co. H, Greble Guards, 537; Co. I, Brooke Guards, 547; 
Co. K, Wayne Guards, 555. 

Chapter XV- — Recapitulation from roster and record, 565; tabular statement of mor- 
tality and casualties, 566; recapitulation from tabular statement, 585; In Memo- 
riam. Fallen Patriots Requiem, 586. 

Chapter XVI. — Return of the Battle Flags at Independence Hall, Philadelphia, July 4, 
1866, 587. 

Chapter XVII. — Proceedings in regard to a monument, 589. ' 



ILLUSTRATIONS. 



VII 



ILLUSTRATIONS. 

No. Page. 

1. Portrait of Henry R. Guss, Brevet Major General, U. S. Vols., . Frontispiece. 

3. Tlie Cooper Shop Volunteer Refreshment Saloon and Hospital, ... 84 

3. The Union Volunteer Refreshment Saloon, ........ 85 

4. Portress Monroe in 1861, 

5. The Burning of Hampton, 

6. Ruins of St. John's Church, 

7. Battle of the Monitor and Merrimac, 

8. Plan of the Battle at Port Royal Harbor 

9. Fort Walker, 

10. Fort Beauregard, 

11. Stone Fleet Blockade, 

12. Pope's House at Hilton Head, 

13. Map of Port Royal, S. C, 

14. Martello Tower, Tybee Island, 

15. Breach in Fort Pulaski, 

16. Obstructions in Savannah River 

17. Fort-Clinch, 

18. The Planter, 

19. Pickets on Duty, 

20. House at Mitchelville, 
31. Drayton's Mansion, . 
33. Head-Quarters of Hunter and Mitchel 

33. Live Oak Grove at Port Royal, 

34. Portrait of Sketchley Morton, Jr., First Lieutenant Company I, 97th P. V., 

25. FortPulasld, . 

26. Siege of Charleston, 

37. Beacon House, 

38. New Ironsides and Monitors, . 

39. Fort Wagner at Point of Assault, 

30. Bomb and Splinter Proof, ... 

31. Army Signal Telegraph, . 
33. The Swamp Angel Battery, 
33. Fort Sumter after the Bombardment, 
84. A Respectful Shell, 

35. Port Wagner, Sea Front, 

36. Interior of Fort Sumter, 

37. A Florida Swamp and Jungle, . 

38. Battery and Church Tower, Site of Jamestown, 

39. Line of Defence at Bermuda Hundred, 

40. Butler's Head-Quarlers, near Dutch Gap, 

41. Jeff Davis' Nockiie, . . ... 
43. Fort Darling, 

43. Rifle Pits at Green Plains, Va., 

44. Position of Gen. Smith's Command at Cold Harbor, Va., 

45. Gen. Smith's Head-Quarters, Cold Harbor, 

46. Defences of Richmond and Petersburg, . 

47. Dr. Friend's House, 



VIII 



ILLUSTRATIONS. 



No, 

48. Gen. Grant's Head-Qnarters at City Point, 

49. Bullet Proof in the Wood, . ... 

50. Interior of Port Steadman, ... 

51. Earthworks and Abattis, 

52. Outline of the Crater and Magazines 

53. Battery near Dutch Gap, . 

54. Pontoon Bridge at Jones' Landing, near Deep Bottom, . 

55. Battle Field of Malvern Hill, Va., . . . 

56. Chesapeake Hospital, .... . . 

57. Ghapin's Bluff, from Fort Darling, 

58. Portrait of George W. Hawkins, CaiJtain Company I, 97th P. 

59. Offleers' Quarters, Chapln's Farm, .... 

60 Army Huts at Chapin's Farm, 

61. Land and Sea Front of Fort Fisher, 

63. Plan of Land and Naval Operations at Fort Fisher, 

63. Mound Battery, near Fort Fisher 

64. Interior of Fort Fisher, . , , , . . 

65. M'Lean's House, the Place of Lee's Surrender, 

66. Place of Johnson's Surrender to Sherman, 

67. Portrait of G. Pennypacker, Brevet Major General, U. S. Army, 

68. Portrait of Isaiah Price, Brevet Colonel, U. S, Vols,, 

69. Portrait of H. W. Carruthers, Adjutant 97th P, V,, A A. A. Gen 

1st Div,, 10th Corps, Captain Company C, . . 

70. Portrait of J. R, Everhart, Surgeon 97th P. v., 



1st Brig., 



Pafce. 
393 
300 
301 
303 
807 
313 
314 
315 
316 
333 
331 
334 
335 
840 
346 
853 
854 
367 
368 
399 
434 

437 
448 




PEEFACE. 

I HE purpose of preparing a history of the Ninety-seventh 
Regiment was first presented, as a matter of duty, to the 
author of the present work, at the close of his term of 
service. 
Some notes and records had been preserved, and all of his letters 
home were found to have been carefully filed by his family. These 
afforded such data as enabled him, in fulfilment of a resolution of 
request, to prepare for Prof S. P. Bates' State History a sketch of 
the services of the Regiment in the field, together with brief bio- 
graphical notices of some of its officers. 

It was at that time expected that a history of the Regiment, in 
course of preparation, would be early completed and published, 
which would render unnecessary the compilation of another. This 
expectation not being realized, the desire of many members of the 
Regiment to have the history of its services prepared for publica- 
tion found expression in the following resolutions, adopted at one 
of the meetings in regard to the proposed monument, held at West 
Chester, Pa., February 22, 1873, over fifty members being present. 
On motion of Major General G. Pennj^acker, "Resolved, That the 
thanks of the officers and soldiers of the 97th Reg. P. V. are due, 
and are hereby tendered to its Major — and for a long time com- 
manding officer — Brevet Colonel Isaiah Price, for the preparation 
of the sketch of the services of the Regiment published in the 
State History. The labors of Colonel Price to perpetuate in every 
way, in history, the gallant deeds of the old regiment more than 
merit the appreciation and thanks ©f its surviving members." On 
motion of Chaplain Moore, "Resolved, That Colonel Price be re- 
quested to undertake the preparation of a history of the services of 
the Ninety-seventh Regiment for publication from his manuscript 
sketch, and that the records of the Regiment be placed at his dis- 
posal for the purpose." 

The duty thus authoritatively presented anew was undertaken 



PREFACE. 



with many misgivings, fearing lest the very favorable expression in 
regard to the sketch referred to should elevate expectation beyond 
any reasonable hope of realization in the more extended work, 
which would demand a larger ability and the most earnest effort 
to fulfil. 

The pages of the present work have been chiefly prepared during 
the interrupted intervals of professional duties, reaching nearly 
to completion by the end of October, 1873. The ascertainment of 
many dates, and other items of interest from official records and 
other sources, has required longer time and much patient research, 
which have delayed the publication beyond the time it was at first 
supposed would be required for its completion. 

To General James W. Latta, Adjutant General of Pennsylvania, 
whose courtesy and kindness afforded every facility desired from the 
records in his office, the author is greatly indebted, especially for 
the verification of the record rolls of, the Regiment by the clerical 
aid in his office, which has enabled him to present a complete and 
most accurate record of each man upon the rolls. 

To Private John L. Kitts, of Company C, he is mainly indebted 
for the unrestricted use of his private diary, from which were ob- 
tained many dates of various movements, events, etc., and the 
record of many occurrences that would otherwise have been lost 
from remembrance. These were carefully preserved by him in the 
diary regularly kept during almost the entire period of his enlist- 
ment. This being kindly entrusted for the purpose, without re- 
serve, proved invaluable in making up the record. To Colonel H. 
E. Guss, for official papers, records, etc. To Captains Francis M. 
Guss, Co. A; W. S. Mendenhall, Co. D; D. W. C. Lewis, Co. F, 
(since Brevet Lieutenant Colonel); Charles Mcllvaine, Co. H; 
Dallas Crow, Co. B, and W. S. Underwood, Co. K, he is also 
indebted for company records and accounts of the organization of 
their respective companies; to the latter also for some account of 
the movements of the Eegiment from January 1 to August 28, 1865. 
To Colonel John Wainwright, for the use of retained copies of the 
muster-out-rolls of the Regiment, from which many of the records 
were obtained, and for some account of the campaign from October, 
1864, to August, 1865, while the Regiment was under his com- 
mand. To Brevet Major D. Jones, Regimental Quarter-Master, for 
some records, papers, etc., and for a description of the proposed 
monument. Also to Musician E. R. Eisenbeis, of Company A, for 



PREFACE. 5 

copies of the regimental records prepared by him while regimental 
clerk and clerk of Company A, and for a manuscript sketch of 
Colonel H. R. Guss, from which the one herein published was re- 
vised and enlarged. 

Some items of much interest were furnished by Captain J. P. 
Johnson, of the steamer Boston, a citizen of Chelsea, Mass., whose 
kindness and interest for the Regiment will be remembered by all 
who learned to regard him as a personal friend. The Regiment 
was frequently embarked upon his boat in transitu from different 
places in the Department of the South, To Samuel W. Penny- 
packer, Esq., of the Philadelphia Bar, author of " Phcenixville 
and its Vicinity," the author is also indebted for items of the 
Pennypacker genealogy given in the sketch of Major General 
Pennypacker. Also to J. Hill Martin, Esq., author of " History of 
Chester, Delaware County, Pennsylvania," for brief sketches of 
Lieutenant Colonel A. P. Duer and Lieutenant Sketchly Morton, 
Jr., of Co. I, to all of whom the author would here express his 
sincere thanks. 

I. Price. 



INTRODUCTOEY CORRESPONDENCE. 



No. 1720 Green Street, Philadelphia, October 29, 1873. 
To Major General G. Pennypacker, U. S. A. 
My Dear Friend: 




FTER many delays, the manuscript history of the Ninety- 
seventh Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers is now nearly 
ready for the press. 

In consenting to undertake the work of its prepara- 
tion, I felt the very embarrassing position in which it would 
place me, having to write of much that transpired while the Regi- 
ment was under my own command. To present the record of the 
Regiment under such circumstances, without incurring the criticism 
of egotism, would be difficult even for one more fully qualified to 
give the simple narrative of those services in which he had 
participated in the most obscure position. I have, therefore, not 
hoped to wholly escape such comment from the captious and the 
critical. 

Yet now — when the result of the efforts of the past eight 
months to reclaim from oblivion the history of the eventful period 
of service, participated in by our gallant Regiment during the war, 
is contained in the sheets before me — with a feeling of distrust, and 
shrinking from the perils and penalties of authorship, I naturally 
turn to you, my Commanding Officer, always generous and con- 
siderate toward every earnest effort in the performance of duty — and 
the friend and companion in arms, long tried and sincere, asking 
that your support and sympathy may attend this venture toward 
answering the desire of our surviving comrades, to have the record 
of our dear old Regiment perpetuated. I know they will not be 
withheld, and am, therefore, already inspired with the hope that, 
with your approval, it will be the more leniently regarded and 
accepted with greater interest. 

Ever faithfully, your friend, 

I. Price 



INTRODUCTORY CORRESPONDENCE. 




Head-Quarters Sixteenth Infantry, U. S. A. 
Nashville, Tenn., November 1, 1873. 

To Col. Isaiah Price, Philadelphia, Pa. 

My Very Good Friend: 

O you know that I have no words with which to thank 
you for the kind expressions contained in your letter of 
the 29th of October? 

The great trouble about your book will be — not that 
you have shown any egotism — you will not do yourself the justice 
you should, for you commanded our good old Regiment through 
the trying and stormy period of its existence. It would seem 
strange in me, perhaps, to commend you; but it seems to me that I 
never had a stauncher friend, and never could have had under my 
command a better soldier, than yourself. 

Of course, I will do everything that lies in my power to aid in 
the circulation of your book (the publication of which is so much 
more of an object with us than with you), and you have only to 
indicate to me any way in which I can be of service. 

The only fear I have of the book, knowing your diffidence under 
such circumstances, is, that it will be incomplete in its narrative of 
many events which did great credit to the Regiment, but which 
occurred while you were the commanding officer, and entitled to the 
honor due to one holding your rank and position. 

With many kind regards and best wishes, I am, as ever before. 
Faithfully, your friend, 

G. Pennypacker. 




IN WAR TIME. 

LOR ISC ANUS queries: "Why should we 
Vex at the land's ridiculous miseriel" 
So on his Usk banks, in blood-red dawn 
Of England's civil strife, did careless Vaughan 
Bemock his times. O friends of many years ! 
Though faith and trust are stronger than our fears. 
And the signs promise peace with liberty, 
Not thus we trifle with our country's tears 
And sweat of agony. The future's gain 
Is certain as God's truth; but, meanwhile, pain 
Is bitter and tears are salt: our voices take 
A sober tone ; our very household songs 
Are heavy with a nation's griefs and wrongs; 
And innocent mirth is chastened for the sake 
Of the brave "hearts that nevermore shall beat. 
The eyes that smile no more, the unreturning feet! 

WHITTIEK. 




DEDICATORY. 

OT for the purpose of fostering in the minds of the youth 
of our country an undue love for glory in military 
achievements is this history written. But rather lest — 
while enjoying the blessings of peace, secured unto them 
through the services and sacrifices of those times when others dedi- 
cated their lives to the work of preserving the integrity and life 
of the nation in its hour of peril — future generations may be left 
unreminded of the nature of those services, of what were the 
sacrifices and cost of our country's liberty, permanence and peace, ' 
demanding of them a jealous and perpetual guardianship. 

This end is the aim of this record, now reverently dedicated to 
the memory of our fallen comrades, who not only endured the pri- 
vations of the march, the camp and the field of battle, but gave 
their lives also that their country might live. 

They returned not with us, to meet the glad welcome from pa- 
tient loving hearts, that had long kept silent watch, through faith, 
around the lone home hearths, during all the dark weary days of 
"the war time," ever prayerful and hopeful of the ending, that 
should bring back to them husband, father, son, brother, lover ! 

But for them, instead of such welcome, were fountains of tears 
welling from agonized hearts, and the sad duty of keeping green 
their grass-grown graves, and, in the season of their bloom, garlanded 
by flowers gathered from gardens of lonely vacant homes, annually 
brought by tender hearts. The beauty and perfume of flowers thus 
spread with trembling hands above the resting place of their con- 
secrated dead, in sweet and simple tribute, are worthy alike the 
brave and the sorrowing, who gave their all. 

Let not the memory of these countless sacrifices ever be ob- 
literated, nor let them have been made in vain ! 

The deeds of the heroic dead, in such cause, need no eulogy. 
The simple record, "They followed where duty called," is all- 
sufficient to preserve their memory ever green. 

I. Price. 

July 4, 1873. 



CHAPTER I. 




Organization of Companies for the Ninety-Seventh Regiment 
Pennsylvania Volunteers, August and September, 1861. 

HE grand response of a loyal people, in support of 
national defence against rebellion, in 1861, was an 
event unparalleled in the history of nations. To 
collect, organize and array the vast numbers of un- 
disciplined troops, that were requisite to meet the 
forces in rebellion, and having possession of almost 
the entire military and naval resources of the coun- 
try, was a work of unprecedented magnitude, thrust 
upon the administration of Abraham Lincoln by 
the defection in that of his predecessor, James Buchanan. 

The record of those remarkable efforts and events, and the re- 
sults of the subsequent memorable conflict, have become a part of 
the nation's history. 

The heroic, self-sacrificing men, who, through four years of pri- 
vation, peril and war, dedicated their lives to the preservation of 
national integrity, wrought also for its progress in the direction of 
its founders' intent toward the realization of true permanence, 
prosperity and peace, as a priceless legacy, painfully and perilously 
secured for every citizen. 

Each of the grand armies organized has its history and its record 
roll of honored names identified with its achievements, its fame 
and its success. Each corps, division and brigade has its im- 
perishable scroll, perpetuating the deeds of valor that bore its 
badges and its banners through the fire of many battles unto bril- 
liant victories, and the final triumph of liberty, union and peace. 

On the pages of these histories each participant may trace the 
record of his own efforts through the campaigns in which his corps 
took part. With eager interest, he follows the record of his 
division and brigade, feeling a just pride in seeing its deeds 



12 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. 

enumerated. Kindling anew the old enthusiasm and ardor that 
was the sustaining influence, enabling brave men to encounter the 
perils and surmount the obstacles that barred the way to victory and 
success. A natural desire to further trace the individual expe- 
riences of the men who so faithfully served their country, in its 
time of need, has prompted the compilation of the " Record of the 
Regiment." Many of these have been completed with considerable 
accuracy, and have become invaluable in interest to those whose 
record has been thus more perfectly and enduringly perpetuated. 

The desire to have such a history, of the services of the Ninety- 
seventh Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers published, having long 
bordered upon expectancy, now reaches a late fulfilment. 

The first influence toward the organization of this Regiment 
originated with the Hon. H. Jones Brooke, late a State Senator for 
Chester and Delaware counties. Being present at the ofiice of the 
Secretary of War, when authority to recruit a regiment for the 
three years' service was being granted, upon an application from 
his State, it occurred to him to make a similar application for the 
organization of a regiment from his own Congressional District, 
the 7th Pennsylvania, when he received the assurance that such 
authority would be granted to any one he might designate as a 
proper oflicer to organize a regiment. He at once communicated 
the suggestion to Capt. Henry R. Guss, whom he knew as an 
active and efiicient officer, who had entered the three months' 
service with a large number of men, and was, at that time, about 
to be mustered out of service, at Harrisburg, at the expiration 
of that term of service. The proposition being favorably considered 
by Capt. Guss, Senator Brooks forwarded the proposal — to organize 
a regiment under the command of Col. Henry R. Guss, of West 
Chester, Pa., to be recruited in the 7th Congressional District — to 
the Hon. Simon Cameron, Secretary of War. 

Within a few days, the following letter of acceptance was re- 
ceived by Col. Guss: 

War Department, Washington, D. C, July 25, 1861. 
CoL. Henry R. Guss, West Chester, Pa. 

Sir: The regiment of infantry which you offer is accepted for 
three years, provided you have it ready for marching orders in 
twenty-one days. 

This acceptance is with the distinct understanding that this 



ORGANIZATION' OF THE COMPANIES. 13 

Uepartment will revoke the commissions of all officers who may be 
found incompetent for the proper discharge of their duties. 

You will promptly advise Adjutant General Thomas, at Wash- 
ington, the date at which your men will be ready for mustering, 
and he will detail an officer for that purpose. 
By order of the Secretary of War: 

[Signed] James Lesley, Jr., 

Chief Clerk, War Department. 

Capt. Henry R. Guss had commanded Company A, of the 9th 
P. v., during its term of service (three months) with Major General 
Robert Patterson's command, in Maryland, Virginia, and adjacent 
counties in Pennsylvania. The command had been mustered out of 
service at Harrisburg, Pa., July 29, 1861. 

In pursuance of the authority received from Secretary Cameron, 
Col. Guss set about the purpose of recruiting and organizing his 
regiment immediately after his return to his home at West Chester. 
Inviting the co-operation of some who had served under his com- 
mand in the three months' campaign, and of others whose ability to 
aid his purpose being recognized through his usual careful and cor- 
rect observation and estimate of men, these were duly authorized to 
commence the enrollment of recruits and the organization of com- 
panies. 

Many of the men who were first enrolled had served in the three 
months' campaign, and some were men who had the experience of 
drill and discipline as members of military or militia companies 
previous to the war. The larger number, however, were without 
former military experience, young men who enlisted from a sense of 
duty to their government in its impending danger; earnest, con- 
scientious young men of most excellent character and promise, the 
sons of the most worthy citizens in their native counties. 



Company Organization, with Record of Promotions. Company 

A, Guss Fencibles. 

Recruiting for the first company was commenced on the 2d of 
August, 1861, by Capt. Galusha Pennypacker, of West Chester, 
Pa., who had served during the three months' term in Capt. Guss' 
company in the 9th Regiment P. V., of which he was appointed a 



14 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. 

sergeant, and, being promoted to a position on the non-commis- 
sioned staff of the Regiment, had served dujring most of the time 
as acting regimental quarter-master. 

The authority to recruit a company for the new regiment was 
given by Col. Guss, verbally, while on the train returning from 
Harrisburg, after the muster out of the 9th Regiment, and was ac- 
cepted by Capt. Pennypacker at once, who made his purpose 
known to some of the young men of his regiment before separating 
for their homes. A number of them soon after joined his company, 
in West Chester, where recruits began to collect rapidly; by the 
17th of August, the number had reached sixty-three. On that day, 
they went into camp in a beautiful grove known as Everhart's 
Woods, the location being tendered the company by its owner, 
Hon. William Everhart, a former member of Congress from the 
district, father of Dr. John R. Everhart, who became surgeon of 
the 9Tth Regiment. The camp was named Camp Everhart, in 
compliment to its owner, who had provided such a pleasant spot, 
cool and shaded from the August heat. 

The company occupied the southeast corner of the grove, ad- 
joining Barnard Street. The men were furnished with tents for 
temporary use by the old National Guards, of West Chester, which 
were used until the company was organized and mustered. The 
name adopted by the company was the Guss Fencibles, in honor of 
their late commander in the National Guards, and Company A, 9th 
Regiment, Col. Henry R. Guss. 

The first muster for the company was made by Capt. John H. 
McArthur, 2d U. S. Cavalry, assistant mustering officer for the 
eastern division of Pennsylvania, who, on the 22d of August, 1861, 
mustered Capt. Galusha Pennypacker as captain of Company A; 
Louis Y. Evans, of West Chester, who had served as sergeant in 
Company A, 9th Regiment P. V., during the three months' term, 
was then mustered as 1st lieutenant; William Peace, of Coatesville, 
as 2d lieutenant ; and eighty-eight enlisted men were mustered as 
privates, an aggregate of ninety-one men. On the 30th of August, 
ten additional men were mustered, making the requisite number one 
hundred and one, officers and men, for the company. The following 
non-commissioned ofiicers were appointed: 1st sergeant, Thomas E. 
Weber, of West Chester, Pa.; 2d sergeant, Abel Griffith, of West 
Chester, Pa.; 3d sergeant, Thomas McKay, of West Chester, Pa.; 
4th sergeant, Isaac J. Burton, Coatesville, Chester Co., Pa.; 5th 



ORGANIZATION OF COMPANY A. 15 

sergeant, John Brubaker, Penningtonville, Chester Co., Pa. Sergt. 
McKay being designated by Col. Guss for the position of com- 
missary sergeant of Regiment, he was appointed to that position, 
October 29, 1861. There was no promotion to 5th sergeant until 
April 28, 1862. 1st corporal, Jervis J. Rudolph, of Coatesville, 
Chester Co., Pa.; 2d corporal, William L. Morris, of Oak Hill, Lan- 
caster Co., Pa.; 3d corporal, William H. Martin, of Christiana, 
Lancaster Co., Pa.; 4th corporal, George EUam, of Coatesville, 
Chester Co., Pa.; 5th corporal, Benjamin F. Stackhouse, of Concord- 
ville, Delaware Co., Pa.; 6th corporal, Harry L. Pyott, of Willis- 
town, Chester Co., Pa.; 7th corporal, Reese Elmer Welch, of Honey- 
brook, Chester Co., Pa.; 8th corporal, Jacob Daubman, of Philadel- 
phia, Pa. 

The time specified by the War Department, twenty-one days, 
being entirely inadequate to complete the organization of the regi- 
ment, it was extended by the following order : 

War Department, August 22, 1861. 
CoL. Henry R. Guss, West Chester, Pa. 

Sir: The time granted you by this Department, in which to 
report your regiment ready for marching orders, is hereby extended 
thirty days, with the understanding, however, that you make every 
exertion to report earlier if possible. 
By order of the Secretary of War: 

[Signed] James Leslie, Jr., 

Chief Clerk, War Department. 

The company remained at Camp Everhart until September 12, 
regularly engaged in performing the usual camp duties and in ac- 
quiring proficiency in drill and discipline under the instructions of 
their ofiicers, Capt. G. Pennypacker being also meanwhile actively 
engaged in superintending the requisite arrangements toward the 
equipment and subsistence of the recruits for his own and the other 
companies then being organized. 

On the 12th of September, Company A moved from Camp Ever- 
hart, in order to join the other companies of the Regiment, about 
to go into quarters in the Agricultural Fair Grounds, which had 
been previously occupied by the 9th and 11th Pennsylvania (three 
months') Regiments, and by the 1st and 7th Regiments of Penn- 
sylvania Reserves, being known as Camp Wayne. Company A 



16 HISTORY OF THE NINETT-SEYENTH REGIMENT. 

selected their quarters in the southwest corner of the grounds, 
along New Street. The sheds having been fitted up as barracks, 
made very comfortable shelter, which the tact and ingenuity of the 
men, with a supply of boards and clean straw, soon made quite 
desirable as domiciles, and with the influence of song and violin 
and the cheer of true brave hearts in close companionship, as bunk 
mates, the tedium of camp life was made bright and joyous. The 
scene to a looker-on became a marvel to reconcile the apparent busy 
unconcern of men about to enter upon scenes and duties so solemn, 
so stern, so real; yet, to the more sagacious thinker, the thought 
was presented of a great underlying purpose permeating the hearts 
of these men; the apparent unconcern being typical of the airy 
mist playing about the crest of some vast range of mountain bar- 
rier, against which storms might dash apd tempest beat. Thus 
should these brave and strong men stand immovable and fixed, a 
part of a mighty host gathered and gathering, against which the 
fiery charge of treason and the tide of battle might surge as vainly. 

Upon the completion of the organization of Company A, Capt. G. 
Pennypacker was authorized, pursuant to an order issued by Lieut. 
Col. Charles F. Ruff", 3d U. S. Cav., chief mustering oflUcer for the 
eastern division of Pennsylvania, to muster the officers and men 
who should enlist in the remaining companies of the Regiment. 
He accordingly mustered the recruits into the service of the United 
States, from time to time, as enlisted, during the organization, to 
the entire satisfaction of the officer, who deputized him to perform 
the service. 

Dr. John R. Everhart, having been selected by Col. Guss as sur- 
geon of the Regiment, made the prescribed critical examination of 
all the men presented for enlistment in the several companies of the 
Regiment. 

After the organization of three companies, Capt. G. Pennypacker, 
of Company A, was, by Col. H. R. Guss, designated as major of 
the Regiment. He had, upon the first occupation of Camp Wayne, 
assumed command as senior captain, and continued in command of 
the camp until the muster of Lieut. Col. A. P. Duer, on October 7, 
1861. 

Company A received its allotment of clothing, camp and garrison 
equipage on the 30th of August and its arms (the old rifled musket) 
about the 14th of September. The drill in the manual of arms 
etc., was diligently maintained, together with all the evolutions and 



PROMOTIONS IN COMPANY A. 17 

company movements which tend to perfect the requisite training of 
the soldier. 

Capt. G. Pennypacker's commission as major being dated Octo- 
ber 7, 1861, created a vacancy in Company A from that date, he 
having been mustered as major by Lieut. Col. Charles F. Ruff, at 
Philadelphia, on October 7, 1861. On October 12, the members of 
Company A being authorized to do so, held an election for captain, 
which resulted in the choice of Francis M. Guss, of West Chester, 
a brother of Col. H. R. Guss, and a late 1st lieutenant in Company 
A, 9th Regiment P. V. (in the three months' service). He was 
afterward commissioned, by Gov. Curtin, as captain of Company A, 
and was duly mustered as such on October 15, 1861, and imme- 
diately entered upon the duties of commander of the company. 
The subsequent promotions in the company and non-commissioned 
officers are here given as nearly in their proper order as could be 
obtained. On April 28, 1862, Corp. J. J. Rudolph was promoted 
to 5th sergeant. The corporals were each advanced one in grade. 
Private Alfred B. Peace, of Coatesville, was appointed 8th corporal. 

On May 1, 1862, 1st Lieut. Louis Y. Evans was promoted to cap- 
tain of Company G. 2d Lieut. William Peace was commissioned 
1st lieutenant of Company A, and 1st Sergt. Thomas E. Weber, 2d 
lieutenant of the company. 2d Sergt. Abel Griffith was appointed 
1st sergeant, the remaining sergeants were promoted one in grade 
respectively, and 1st Corp. William L. Morris appointed 5th ser- 
geant. The corporals were then designated in the following order : 
1st Corp. Stackhouse, 2d Corp. Martin, 3d Corp. Pyott, 4 th Corp. 
EUam, 5th Corp. Welsh, 6th Corp. Daubman, 7th Corp. Peace, and 
Private Nathaniel R. Cowen, of Churchtown, Lancaster Co., Pa., 
was appointed 8th corporal. On January 9, 1863, 3d Sergt. Bru- 
baker was reduced to the ranks. The 4th and 5th sergeants were 
advanced one in grade, and 1st Corp. Stackhouse was appointed 5th 
sergeant. The other corporals were advanced one in grade, Corp. 
Martin being 1st corporal. Private John T. Taylor, of Oxford, 
Chester Co., was appointed 8th corporal. 

On the 30th of January, 1864, 2d Lieut. Thomas E. Weber was 
transferred to the U. S. Signal Corps, by order of the War Depart- 
ment, and on the 18th of February, 1864, 1st Lieut. William Peace 
resigned and was honorably discharged, by Special Order No. 66, 
Head-Quarters Department of the South, dated February 18, 1864, 
thus vacating both positions. 1st Sergt. Abel Griffith was promoted 
2 



18 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. 

to 1st lieutenant and 2d Sergt. Isaac J. Burton to 2d lieutenant, 
their commissions being dated March 4, 1864. 3d Sergt. Rudolph 
was promoted to 1st sergeant; 4th Sergt. Morris to 2d sergeant and 
5th Sergt. Stackhouse to 3d sergeant. 1st Corp. Martin was ap- 
pointed 4th sergeant. There was no immediate promotion to 5th 
sergeant. 2d Corp. Pyott was promoted to 1st corporal. 

Private Madison Lovett, of Colerain, Lancaster Co., Pa., was ap- 
pointed 7th corporal, July 1, 1864, and Private Harry T, Gray, 
veteran, of Concordville, Delaware Co., was appointed 8th corporal, 
August 1, 1864. Corp. John T. Taylor was killed in action, at 
Mine, near Petersburg, Va., July 30, 1864. 3d Sergt. B. F. Stack- 
house died, August 19, 1864, of wounds received in action at Deep 
Bottom, Va., August 16, 1864. 1st Sergt. Jervis J. Rudolph, 2d 
Sergt. W. L. Morris, and Corps. Harry L. Pyott, Jacob Daubman 
and Alfred B. Peace, were mustered out of service, August 22, 1864, 
upon the expiration of term of service, and Corp. Reese E. "Welsh 
on August 25, 1864. 4th Sergt. W. H. Martin was then appointed 
1st sergeant. 

To fill the remaining and subsequent vacancies, the following 
were appointed sergeants : Corp. Harry T. Gray to sergeant, August 
20, 1864; Privates Lewis E. Humpton, appointed corporal, October 
10, 1864; to sergeant, November 24, 1864; Robert L. Black, same 
date; Frank C. Henry appointed corporal, November 24, 1864; to 
sergeant, February 1, 1865, and Joseph Phillips appointed corporal, 
July 1, 1865; to sergeant, May 10, 1865. Corp. Madison Lovett 
was promoted to hospital steward, September 18, 1864. 1st Sergt. 
William H. Martin was promoted to 2d lieutenant, October 4, 
1864; to 1st lieutenant, October 31, 1864; to captain, December 4, 
1864; to major, January 15, 1865, and to lieutenant colonel, June 
1, 1865. Sergt. Harry T. Gray was promoted to 1st sergeant, 
October 4, 1864, and to 1st lieutenant, December 4, 1864; he was 
not mustered; discharged, May 9, 1865, expiration of term. Sergt. 
Lewis E. Humpton was promoted to 1st sergeant, December 4, 
1864; to captain, February 28, 1865. Sergt. Robert L. Black was 
promoted, same date, to 1st lieutenant. Capt. Humpton resigned 
May 22, 1865. On June 15, 1865, 1st Lieut. Black was promoted 
to captain. Sergt. Frank C. Henry was promoted to 1st sergeant, 
February 28, 1865; to 2d lieutenant, May 1, 1865, and to 1st 
lieutenant, June 15, 1865, but was not mustered as lieutenant. 
Sergt. Joseph Phillips was promoted to 1st sergeant, February 19, 



PROMOTIONS IN COMPANY A. 19 

1865, and on June 15, 1865, was promoted to 2d lieutenant, but 
was not mustered as lieutenant. Private Jeptha Clark was pro- 
moted to corporal, February 1, 1865; to sergeant. May 1, 1865. 
Private James P. Smedley promoted to corporal and to sergeant, no 
date ; Private Allison Gibson promoted to corporal and to sergeant, 
no date; John Harman, substitute, promoted to corporal; to sergeant, 
July 19, 1865. These four sergeants were all mustered out with the 
company, August 28, 1865. Private Caleb B. Moore, recruit, pro- 
moted to corporal; discharged for wounds, April 22, 1865; Private 
Lewis Larrison, drafted, promoted to corporal; discharged by general 
order, June 2, 1865; Private John M. Stevens, drafted, promoted 
to corporal, discharged by general order, June 2, 1865 ; Private 
Nathaniel Whitebread, substitute, promoted to corporal; discharged 
by general order. May 5, 1865; Private Henry A. Wittich^ sub- 
stitute, promoted to corporal, April 22, 1865; Private John T. 
Carpenter, recruit, promoted to corporal, July 19, 1865; Private 
Lewis Macks, substitute, promoted to corporal, July 19, 1865; 
Private Taylor Richardson, veteran, promoted to corporal, August 
18, 1865 ; Private Robert M. Glisan, substitute, promoted to corporal, 
August 18, 1865 ; Private Henry P. Towns, substitute, promoted to 
corporal, August 18, 1865; Private Burton G. Bovee, substitute, 
promoted to corporal ; Private Daniel Phillips, substitute, promoted 
to corporal. The eight last were mustered out with company, 
August 28, 1865. Of the original, number, five non-commissioned 
oificers and seventeen privates re-enlisted as veterans at Fernandina, 
Fla., in accordance with general orders of War Department, No. 
191, series of 1863, and No. 25, of 1864, were mustered into the 
service, for the remainder of the war, by 1st Lieut. M. V. B. Rich- 
ards, United States mustering officer; those not re-enlisting and not 
previously discharged being mustered out at the expiration of their 
term of service, from August 22 to 30, thirty-one being discharged 
on the former date. They were the first to return to their homes, 
were cordially welcomed at West Chester upon their arrival and 
provided with hospitable entertainment by their old commander, Col. 
Guss, at the Green Tree Hotel. 

At North Edisto, July 12, 1862, a splendid sword, sheath, waist- 
belt, sash, shoulder straps and sword case were presented by the 
members of the company to Capt. F. M. Guss. The movement had 
been originated in January, by subscription to the fund for the pur- 
pose, and the order was sent by Col. H. R. Guss. The express 



20 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. 

package arrived a few days previously, and by arrangement, after 
breakfast, the men were in line to wait upon the captain at his 
quarters. The presentation speech was made by Private David M. 
Taylor, who, in a few expressive words, apprised the captain of the 
purpose of their visit. Capt. Guss received this handsome testi- 
monial as a complete surprise, having had not the least intimation 
of any such purpose. He replied in a few happy words, expressing 
his surprise and thanks for the manifestation of confidence and 
respect. The occasion was one. of much good feeling throughout 
the company. 



Company B, Chester County Grays. 

The organization of this company was commenced at Parkesburg, 
Chester Co., Pa., on the 15th of August, 1861, by the consolidation 
of two volunteer companies, one known as the Chester County 
Grays, of that place, commanded by Capt. William B. McCoy, and 
the other as the Keystone Rifles, of Cochranville, Chester Co., com- 
manded by Capt. Robert L. McClellan. 

The men were mostly from the vicinity of those places. On the 
30th of August, 1861, the first muster was made at West Chester, 
Pa., by Capt. G. Pennypacker, when eighty-five men were mus- 
tered, with Capt. William B. McCoy as commanding officer, and 
designated as Company B, 97th Regiment P. V. The remaining 
officers then mustered were : 1st lieutenant, Jonas M. C. Savage, 
of Cochranville ; 2d lieutenant, James Hughes. The non-commis- 
sioned officers then appointed were: 1st sergeant, John Armstrong; 
2d sergeant, David N. Birney; 3d sergeant, Hugh M. Hutton; 4th 
sergeant. Nelson P. Boyer; 5th sergeant, Henry Kendig, Jr.; 1st 
corporal, Elisha Middleton; 2d corporal, Samuel McCluskey; 3d 
corporal, Andrew J. Graham ; 4th corporal, John DeLaugh ; 5th 
corporal, Robert Ferguson ; 6th corporal, Webster A. Nichols , 7th 
corporal, Joseph Haines; 8th corporal, James T. Skiles. Musicians: 
William James Irwin, fifer, and Benjamin K. Hutton, drummer. 
Wagoner, James McNulty. 

The militia name adopted by the company was the Chester County 
Grays, after Capt. McCoy's old company. The men went into 
quarters in Camp Wayne, on the 25th of August, 1861, occupying 
the barracks at the southeast angle of the camp. Additional 



ORGANIZATION AND PROMOTIONS, COMPANY B. 21 

musters were made on September 9, three men; on September 11, 
seven men; on September 16, 21 and 24, each one additional; 
completing the aggregate number tor a company, one hundred and 
one, officers and men. Private Henry Melius having deserted, on 
August 30, the evening after being mustered, there was an additional 
man mustered, on November 13, to fill the vacancy. 

The company was furnished with every necessary outfit, and 
received arms from the Schuylkill arsenal soon after being mustered, 
and entered actively upon the work of preparation for service. The 
first promotion in the company Avas that of Corp. James T. Skiles, 
to be quarter-master sergeant, who was transferred to the non-com- 
missioned staff, on October 29, 1861, he having entered upon the 
duties of that position immediately after being mustered into the 
service. To fill this vacancy. Private Malachi Happersett was ap- 
pointed 8th corporal, on December 2, 1861. 2d Sergt. D. H. Birney 
was reduced to the ranks, March 24, 1862. Sergts. Hutton, Boyer, 
and Kendig were promoted one in grade respectively, and 1st Corp. 
Elisha Middleton appointed 5th sergeant. Corp. McCluskey, being 
promoted to 1st corporal. Corps. Graham, DeLaugh, Ferguson, 
Nichols, Haines and Happersett were then advanced one in grade, 
and Private Jacob G. Lowry appointed 8th corporal. About this 
time, charges were preferred against Corp. DeLaugh, upon which 
he was tried by general court-martial, found guilty and sentenced 
to be dishonorably discharged from the service, the sentence being 
subsequently promulgated and carried into effect on May 26, 1862, 
at Edisto. S. C, as prescribed. The vacancy was filled April 1, 
1862, by regular promotion -of the five junior corporals, and Private 
William A. Deisem was promoted to be 8th corporal. On April 19, 
1862, Corp. Andrew J. Graham was discharged on account of an 
accidental wound with loss of index finger of right hand. 2d Lieut. 
James Hughes resigned, and was honorably discharged, at Edisto, 
S. C, on May 1, 1862. 1st Sergt. John Armstrong was then pro- 
moted to be 2d lieutenant, and 2d Sergt. Hutton to 1st sergeant. 
Sergts. Boyer, Kendig and Middleton were then promoted to 2d, 3d 
and 4th sergeants, 7th Corp. Jacob G. Lowry being promoted to 
5th sergeant, from May 1, 1862. Corps. Ferguson, Nichols, Haines 
and Happersett were also promoted to be 2d, 3d, 4th and 5th 
corporals, to fill the vacancies caused by the discharge of 2d Corp. 
Graham. 8th Corp. Deisem was advanced to 6th corporal, and 
Privates Gerhard Reeder and Dallas Crow promoted to be 7th and 



22 HISTORY OF THE NINETT-SEYENTH REGIMENT. 

8th corporals. 2cl Corp. Robert Ferguson died, at Hilton Head, 
S. C, on May 18, 1862. The vacancy was filled by the promotion 
of the junior corporals one in grade, but no appointment was made 
to 8th corporal until June 1, 1862, when there were other vacancies 
to be filled. On May 26, 1862, 2d Sergt. Boyer was discharged at 
Edisto, S. C. 3d Sergt. Kendig was promoted to be 2d sergeant, 
and 5th Sergt. Lowry to be 3d sergeant. On June 1, 1862, 1st 
Corp. McCluskey was promoted to be 5th sergeant. 2d Corp. W .A. 
Nichols was then promoted to 1st corporal, and tlie other corporals 
each advanced one in grade. Private David H. Birney was now 
promoted to 7th corporal, and Private James M. Jackson to 8th 
corporal. On November 4, 1862, 1st Sergt. Hugh M. Hutton and 
4th Sergt. Elisha Middleton were discharged at Hilton Head, S. C. 
The latter died on the day of his discharge. 2d Sergt. Henry 
Kendig, Jr., was then promoted to be 1st sergeant; 3d Sergt. Lowry 
to be 2d sergeant; 1st Corp. W. A. Nichols to be 3d sergeant and 
7th Corp. David H. Birney re-appointed 4th sergeant. The order 
announcing these appointments was dated January 1, 1863, by 
which 5th Sergt. Samuel McCluskey was reduced to the ranks and 
3d Corp. Happersett was promoted to be 5th sergeant, 2d Corp. 
Haines to be 1st corporal, and Corps. Deisem, Eeeder, Crow and 
Jackson, and Privates John F. Boofter, Joseph Stott and John B. 
Griffith appointed 2d, 3d, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th corporals, 
respectively. 2d Lieut. John xlrmstrong, having resigned, was 
honorably discharged on the 18th of November, 1862. Quarter- 
Master Sergt. James T. Skiles was promoted to be 2d lieutenant on 
December 16, 1862. 

Capt. William B. McCoy commanded the company until June 18, 
1863, when, owing to failing health, his resignation was accepted 
and he received an honorable discharge, at Seabrook Island, S. C, 
and returned to his home, where he died of consumption, September 
24, 1866. 1st Lieut. Jonas M. C. Savage was then promoted to 
captain, to rank from June 23, 1863; 2d Lieut. James T. Skiles 
being promoted to 1st lieutenant. There was no immediate pro- 
motion to 2d lieutenant. 1st Sergt. Henry Kendig, Jr., was dis- 
charged on surgeon's certificate, at Fernandina, Fla., December 9, 
1863. 2d Sergt. Lowry was then promoted to 1st sergeant and was 
soon after recommended for promotion to 2d lieutenant. There was 
some delay, however, in receiving his commission. Meantime, he 
re-enlisted as a veteran, with forty-three others of his company, and 



PROMOTIONS IN COMPANY B. 23 

was subsequently mustered, May 26, 1864, as 2d lieutenant, to 
rank from June 23, 1863. No appointment to 1st sergeant was 
made until May 1, 1864, when 2d Sergt. Webster A. Nichols, who 
was acting 1st sergeant, was appointed to that position. The sub- 
sequent promotions of non-commissioned officers are noted as far as 
could be obtained upon the company roster, but cannot be given 
here in their order for want of the necessary dates of promotion. 
Capt. Savage commanded the company until May 20, 1864, when 
he was severely wounded in action, at Green Plains, Bermuda Hun- 
dred, Va. He was from that time disabled from service, and absent 
in hospital until discharged, October 22, 1864, on account of wounds 
and expiration of term of service. 1st Lieut. Skiles commanded the 
company during a portion of the operations before Petersburg and 
Richmond, Va., from May 20 till November 5, 1864, when dis- 
charged at expiration of term of service, being also upon staff duty 
during a portion of that time. 2d Lieut. Jacob G. Lowry com- 
manded the company during the time 1st Lieut. Skiles was upon 
detailed duty before Petersburg. He was subsequently placed in 
arrest, under charges upon which he was tried and convicted by 
general court martial, and sentenced to be dishonorably discharged 
the service, by Special Order No. 132, War Department, Adjutant 
General's Office, March 18, 1865. These vacancies were filled by 
promotion of non-commissioned officers as follows: 4th Sergt. Dallas 
Crow to commissary sergeant, September 9, 1864; to 1st lieutenant, 
March 1, 1865, and to captain of the company on April 4, 1865. 
He remained the commanding officer of the company until the dis- 
charge of the regiment, August 28, 1865. Private David S. Harry 
was promoted to corporal. May 1, 1864; to 4th sergeant, September 
4, 1864; to 1st sergeant, November 1, 1864, and to 1st lieutenant, 
February 1, 1865, and held that rank until discharged with the 
company, August 28, 1865. Corp. John B. Griffith was promoted 
to sergeant, October 10, 1864; to 1st sergeant, April 22, 1865; to 
2d lieutenant, May 1, 1865, and was mustered out as such with the 
company, August 28, 1865. Private Andrew M. Strickland was 
promoted to corporal, November 2, 1864; to sergeant, February 1, 
1865, and to 1st sergeant, August 1, 1865, being mustered out as 
such with the company, August 28, 1865. 

The men of Company B were mostly such as made efficient and 
reliable soldiers, and were generally kept in a good state of drill and 
discipline by their officers. There were, however, some difficulties 



24: HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. 

experienced, during the summer of 1863, that for a time gave some 
trouble, owing to a want of proper management on the part of the 
officers in dealing with a spirit of insubordination on the part of a 
few of the men. These were taken in hand by the regimental 
commanders, and a careful examination had of all the circumstances, 
resulting in a restoration of the men to duty after a suitable repri- 
mand. They subsequently proved to be most excellent and reliable 
men. 

The company was at the point of attack by the enemy at James 
Island, S; C, on June 10, 1862, and was a part of the force that 
received and held in check his impetuous advance. The officers 
and men acquitted themselves most gallantly under the trying 
ordeal of a first experience under fire. The men never moved from 
their position. Having emptied their cartridge boxes on the ground, 
they lay down and kept up an incessant fire upon the foe, who had 
advanced to within a few feet of them. The record of the company, 
during the entire period of the service, is one of faithful performance 
of duty in the field with a promptness and bravery that rendered 
the company reliable as a cover to the left flank of the Regiment, 
scarcely second to that which held the right in unsurpassed 
efficiency and vigilance. To particularize further in detail is un- 
necessary, the record of the company being identified thoroughly 
with the narrative of events that make up the history of the 
Regiment, in all of which it participated. 

Of the original number of enlisted men, forty-three re-enlisted for 
the remainder of the war, at Fernandina, Fla., under provision of 
general orders of the War Department, No. 191, series of 1863, 
and No. 25, of 1864, and were re-mustered by 1st Lieut. M. V. B. 
Richardson, United States mustering officer of that department. 
The others, as the time of service expired, were mustered out by 
Capt. T E. Lord, and returned to their homes. (See record). 



Company C, Paoli Guards. 

The third company, C, was recruited by Isaiah Price, a resident 
of West Chester, Pa., second son of Benjamin and Jane Price, of 
East Bradford, Chester' Co., Pa., prominent and consistent members 
of the society of Friends. The former (deceased January 8, 1872) 
was long an elder, and the latter still an approved minister in that 



ORGANIZATION OF COMPANY C. 25 

society. In the education of their children they had faithfully 
endeavored to instil with their training a correct appreciation of 
the principles by which their own lives hadnbeen led, in exemplary 
obedience to the "light that maketh manifest the way in which to 
walk," and were also careful to inculcate the necessity for each 
mind to be true to the requirements of duty, which might claim the 
attention under circumstances of peculiar emergency or trial, when 
none could judge one for another. As a consequence of these in- 
fluences of early training and of association, until then, in personal 
membership with Friends, the question of duty presented, when the 
rebellion came, was one of serious interest to many hitherto re- 
garded as consistent membe'rs of that society. In this instance, the 
subject was one likely to cause much anxiety and conflict of mind 
to one reared in the kindest association and sympathy with every 
parental influence, causing a degree of hesitation that for a time 
delayed a step which it was realized must bring great pain to the 
hearts of beloved parents, whose anxieties would now follow, with 
more than usual solicitude, the departure of another son to engage 
in the duties and dangers of war, so apparently at variance with 
the influence of all their early training. (Their third son having 
already gone to the front with the 1st Regiment Pennsylvania 
Reserves.) They were, however, enabled to confide their sons to 
the care of Him in whose hands are ever held the lives of all, and 
in beautiful faith tkey lived through those years of peril and trial, 
sending forth the influence of their prayers and their hopes for the 
preservation of their children, and for others, also, from every danger 
and from all evil. They were permitted to receive both their sons 
again at the end of the war, with grateful hearts that their prayers 
had been answered. 

When the culmination of disaster came, at Bull Run, Va., the 
matter of duty was decided as paramount to all o'ther considerations. 
As a preparatory qualification for duty, when Us imperativeness 
should be fully recognized, I. Price had joined a company of home 
guards, the Gray Reserves, organized at West Chester, Pa., in 
April, 1861, commanded by Capt. William B. Waddell, now a State 
Senator from Chester Co., Pa. (1873). The company was armed 
with Enfield rifles, provided by the borough of West Chester, and 
immediately entered upon a course of drill and discipline that very 
soon resulted in a commendable degree of proficiency in the various 
movements of company and battalion drill, the manual of arms, etc. 



26 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. 

Of this company he was appointed a corporal, and omitted no 
opportunity for acquiring the practical advantages of drill and dis- 
cipline with his company. 

About the middle of August, 1861, the first and second companies 
of Col. Guss' Regiment were in process of organization, and efforts 
were being made to have other companies started. 

It was at this juncture that Henry W. Carruthers, Esq., called 
upon I. Price, at his office, in West Chester, with a request from 
Col. H. R. Guss for an! interview with him at his residence, Mr. 
Carruthers stating, at the same time, that it was the desire of the 
colonel to have Mr. Price recruit a company for his Regiment. 
This proposition was so unexpected, so entirely beyond any idea 
entertained of qualification for a responsibility so great, as to be 
deemed quite impossible of acceptance. Mr. Carruthers was, there- 
fore, assured that, in response to Col. Guss' kind confidence, the 
matter would be considered in the possibility of accepting the less 
responsible trust of a lieutenancy. In the interview with Col. 
Guss, which followed, he urged the acceptance of his original pro- 
position, upon the ground of his own judgment in the matter of 
qualification, stating some points which he regarded as of more 
primary importance than mere military training. 

The proposition of Col. Guss was eventually accepted, when the 
following letter, addressed to whom it may concern, authorized 
Capt. Price to commence recruiting his company: 

West Chester, Pa., August 21, 1861. 
Dear Sir: I have authorized Mr. Isaiah Price, of this borough, 
to recruit a company for the Chester County Regiment, and would 
be pleased if you could lend him your counsel and aid in the matter. 
Mr. Price is a gentleman of character, and is an energetic, attentive 
man. Those in your vicinity who desire to enter the service of their 
country will find Mr. Price reliable. 

"Very truly, yours, Henry R. Guss. 

On August 22, a message from Col. Guss informed Capt. Price 
that some young men were at the Green Tree Hotel, who desired 
to see him. He was then introduced to Mr. Emmor G. Griffith, 
and several others, from the vicinity of Warren Tavern post office, 
in Chester Valley. They were members of a company of home 
guards, Mr. Griffith being 1st lieutenant of the company. There 



ORGANIZATION OF COMPANY C. 27 

had been an effort to have the company enter the service of the 
United States, but there not being sufficient unanimity among its 
members, those who were desirous of entering the service had 
determined to join Col. Guss' regiment. They had come to West 
Chester for that purpose, and signified their willingness to enlist 
in Capt. Price's company. Their names being the first appended 
to his list of recruits, are here given: Emm or G. Griffith, East 
Whiteland; Stephen H. Eachus, David N. Ruth, Willistovvn; 
Samuel A. March, Alexander Beck, Joseph M. Lewis, East White- 
land; Henry Weidner, Charlestown; Franklin T. Eppright, Levi 
Keeley, William D. Thomas, East Whiteland; Joseph R. Acker, 
Joseph Kugler, Tredyffrin. 

It was then stated that there were others in that neighborhood 
desirous of enlisting, and it was proposed to call a meeting at the 
old Mennonite meeting house, then known as the Flat school house, 
in Chester Valley, of which public notice was given, inviting all to 
be present who were desirous of enlisting in the service. The meet- 
ing was held on the evening of August 28, 1861, at which there 
was a large number in attendance. Some eloquent and stirring 
remarks were made by Dr. F. Taylor, of West Chester, presenting 
the necessity of the call of the government for troops. Remarks 
were also made by several of those who had joined Capt. Price's 
company, and, some reference being made to the home guard 
company, it became evident that some of the members of that or- 
ganization were regarding the meeting as an effort to dismember the 
company. An officer of that company, upon obtaining the fioor, 
endeavored to explain the status of the company and its action, 
and deprecated any effort to enlist the men of his company by 
others. Capt. Price, upon being presented to the meeting, expressed 
his regret that a misapprehension should exist in the minds of any 
in regard to the purpose of the meeting. He had been invited to 
meet at this place all persons in the vicinity who were desirous of 
immediately entering the service of the United States. He had 
been informed that there were a number in this neighborhood, and 
he was here to present them with an opportunity of so doing. If, 
however, there was 9,n organized company here, whose officers were 
desirous of entering the service with their men, he would not ask 
a man to leave that company; but would, on the contrary, urge its 
officers to enlist these men and invite the company to join the regi- 
ment of Col. Guss. 



28 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. 

After the meeting, several names were added to the list of recruits. 
Capt. Price subsequently visited various localities in the vicinity of 
Chester Valley, accompanied by Lieut. Emmor G. Griffith, adding 
daily to the list of recruits. A meeting vi^as also held at the Leopard 
Inn, in WiUiston tovi^nship, which was largely attended and was 
addressed by Dr. Franklin Taylor, E. P. Needles, Esq., and others, 
several recruits being obtained. He also visited Chatham, New 
London, Oxford Borough, and other places in the county. At Ox- 
ford, he attended a harvest home celebration, at which Capt. 
Waddell's company of Gray Reserves was present for parade and 
target practice, making a very favorable impression by their pro- 
ficiency in drill, manoeuvres, firing, etc., and for their remarkably 
well conducted behavior. 

At the meeting, Capt. Price, in some brief remarks, called 
attention to the eff"orts being made to obtain recruits for the 97th 
Regiment, and invited those present, who were desirous of entering 
the service, to join that regiment, stating that he desired not to 
pursuade any one to enlist — that each should be guided in the 
matter from a sense of duty — and he would use not a single argu- 
ment to induce any to assume otherwise so serious a responsibility. 
From this locality the list of recruits was largely increased. 

Having notified his recruits that the first muster would be had 
on the 11th day of September, 1861, Capt. Price appointed the ren- 
dezvous at the Green Tree Hotel, at 10 o'clock A. M. They then 
proceeded to the armory of the National Guard, on C'hurch Street, 
West Chester, where the surgeon of the Regiment, Dr. J. R. Ever- 
hart, made a personal • examination of the recruits in accordance 
with the regulations of the service. Fifty-four men were passed for 
muster and then mustered into the service of the United States, for 
three years, by Capt. G. Pennypacker, mustering officer for the Regi- 
ment, with Henry W. Carruthers, Esq., as 1st lieutenant, Capt. Price 
and 2d Lieut. Emmor G. Griffith awaiting muster until the number 
of men should reach an aggregate of eighty-three. When the 
muster was completed, Capt. Price marched the company to quar- 
ters in Camp Wayne. It occupied the sheds from the southwest 
corner of the grounds along Rosedale Avenue, toward the east. 
Lumber had been furnished by the quarter master for making the 
quarters tenantable by the men, and tools furnished for the work. 
The men had arranged themselves in squads according to their ac- 
quaintance and desire to associate. Straw had also been provided, 



ORGANIZATION OF COMPANY C. 29 

and the men had brought with them overcoats and blankets for use 
until clothing, etc. could be issued. Before night, provisions had 
been issued, and everything under way of preparation to provide for 
the comfort of the men in camp. 

On September 16, twelve men were mustered; on the 17th, 
nine more; and on the 18th, seven, making the number eighty-one, 
sufficient to complete the company, at the minimum standard, by 
the muster of Capt. Price and 2d Lieut. Emmor G. Griffith, en- 
titling the company to rank third in the Regiment, and to be de- 
signated Company C, with the honor of bearing the colors during 
the service, attaining the position just two days in advance of the 
next company organization. The militia name adopted by the 
company was the Paoli Guards, in compliment to the first list of 
recruits to join the company from that historic locality. On the 
21st of September, fifteen men were added to the company, and on 
the 23d the company was completed by the muster of three men, 
making a total of one hundred and one, officers and men. 

Requisitions had been previously made for the requisite clothing, 
camp and garrison equipage, which were furnished from the Quarter- 
Master's Department, at Philadelphia, the invoices being signed 
by Col. G. H. Crossman, Deputy Quarter-Master General, and by 
Col. W. R. Gibson, Pay-Master U. S A. and acting military store- 
keeper, and by C. A. AUigood, military storekeeper U. S. A., the 
entire outfit of the company being completed between September 
21 and October 15. Arms were furnished by Col. T. J. Treadwell, 
1st Lieutenant of Ordnance at the Frankford arsenal, and for- 
warded by Col. G. H. Crossman, Deputy Quarter-Master General, 
consisting of ninety-eight muskets of the old pattern having been 
altered to percussion locks. They were received at Camp Wayne 
on September 23, 1861. 

There had been, from the day of muster, regular drill hours 
established, the men being divided into squads for exercise in the 
step and the march, facings, etc., under the direction of Lieut. 
Carruthers. Upon the completion of the muster, the following non- 
commissioned officers had been appointed, September 18, 1861: 
1st sergeant, Isaac Smedley; 2d sergeant, Francis J. Eachus; 3d 
sergeant, John D. Beaver; 4th sergeant, Joseph R. Acker; 5th 
sergeant, William Gardiner; 1st corporal, Gerritt S. Hambleton; 
2d corporal, Stephen H. Eachus; 3d corporal, Joseph M. Lewis; 
4th corporal, Henry KaufFman, Jr.; 5th corporal, Richard B. Moore; 



30 HISTORY OF THfi NINETT-SEVENTH REGIMENT. 

6th corporal, Hibberd Aitkin; 7th corporal, Samuel W. Hawley; 
8th corporal, Isaac A. Cleaver. To prepare the men for company 
drill, these officers were placed in charge of squads for instruction 
and practice in the preliminary movements, so that by the time 
the arms, etc., were received, they had attained very creditable 
progress, and were then instructed in the manual of arms; the 
day being divided into periods for the different movements; a por- 
tion being devoted to drill in squads without arms, a portion to the 
manual, in squads, and a portion to company drill in the step and 
the march, and later in the manual by the company and the march 
under arms ; allowing periods of rest and recreation ample enough 
to avoid weariness to the men. The subsequent narration of 
events at Camp Wayne will be left for what is said iii general of 
the Regiment while at that locality. 

1st Lieut. Carruthers having been designated by Col. Guss for ' 
the position of adjutant of the Regiment, he was, therefore, de- 
tached from Company C, and mustered as adjutant, by Col. C. F. 
Ruff, United States mustering officer, October 31, 1861. On 
November 4, 2d Lieut. Emmor G. Griffith was promoted to 1st 
lieutenant, to fill the vacancy, and was mustered as such on No- 
vember 5, 1861, by Maj. G. Pennypacker, mustering officer for the 
Regiment. It being understood that the men of the company 
would be permitted to designate their choice for promotion to the 
2d lieutenancy, a vote was taken, when it was found that 5th 
Sergt. William Gardiner had received a majority of the votes of 
the company, whereupon he was appointed 2d lieutenant and sub- 
sequently duly commissioned. He was mustered as 2d lieutenant 
on November 5, 1861, by Maj. G. Pennypacker. 

1st Corp. Gerritt S. Hambleton was then promoted to be 5th 
sergeant of the company, and the remaining corporals advanced 
one in grade, Stephen H. Eachus being 1st corporal. Private John 
Y. McCarter was appointed 8th corporal, to rank from November 
5, 1861. 

On November 4, 1861, William Wollerton, Esq., an Associate 
Judge of the county of Chester, upon the application of the parents 
of William Shingle (an alleged minor), enlisted in Company C, 
issued a writ of habeas corpus, directed to the company commander, 
requiring him to produce the soldier before him, for a hearing, on 
November 5, at 10 o'clock A. M. Capt. Price appeared with the 
recruit at the hour named, and made answer that he held the 



VACANCIES AND PEpMOTIONS IN COMPANY C. 31 

soldier upon a regular and voluntary enlistment into the United 
States service, he having stated his age to be eighteen years, that 
his parents knew of his coming to enlist and made no objection 
thereto. His parents, hovs^ever, claimed that his age was only 
seventeen years, and manifested great unwillingness to his enlist- 
ment. The lad was equally anxious to serve his country in the 
company. The Judge,. however, decided upon his discharge on the 
ground^f minority. 

While at Camp Wayne, Private James J. Wilson, in wrestling, 
fractured the small bone of his leg, near the ancle. He received 
prompt attention from Surgeons Everhart and Miller, and was 
treated with great care and attention by his comrades at the 
hospital. The accident cast a feeling of regret over the men, which 
tended to moderate the enjoyment of feats of agility and tests of 
strength in the camp. He regained the use of his limb before the 
Regiment was ordered to march, much to his own gratification, as 
he had suffered as much from the fear of being left behind as he did 
from his hurt. 

After being in camp a few weeks, Corp. Hibberd Aitkin was 
taken ill, with hemorrhage of the lungs, and was removed to his 
home, where he remained when the Regiment Avas ordered to 
Washington, being unable to leave his bed. He continued to de- 
cline — ^notwithstanding he received the best medical care and at- 
tention — ^until the 16th of July, 1862, when he died. His absence 
from the company and subsequent death were most deeply felt by 
his comrades, with whom he had become a great favorite for his 
genial, lively and social disposition, which, by its gentle and win- 
ning influence, had endeared him to all. 

The death of 5th Sergt. Gerritt S. Hambleton, on the 30th of 
January, 1862, which is more particularly noticed in the narrative 
of the Regiment, was also a most serious loss to the company. His 
qualities and services, in the brief period of the voyage to Hilton 
Head, had become recognized as unobtrusive and most efficient to a 
degree that made each member of the company, and of the Regi- 
ment, so far as his intercourse extended, his earnest friend. This 
loss was quickly followed by that of Private Joseph R. McKinley, 
who died on board the transport Boston, in Warsaw Sound, Ga., 
during the siege of Fort Pulaski, of ship fever, February 1, 1862. 
Within a very few days, 2d Lieut. Gardiner was also prostrated 
by the same disease, and died on the 19th of February. This sue- 



32 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. 



cession 



of deaths in this company, within a period so brief, the 
insatiate archer claiming for his victims the brightest and most 
gifted of their number, caused sorrow and mourning in the camp as 
for brothers beloved, whose presence being missed in the tent, and 
in the intercourse of companionship, left a void deep and sore in 
many hearts, beside those at home who should behold the faces of 
their loved ones no more. To these was soon added yet another 
victim to the malarious miasma of the climate, and confinement to 
the crowded transports during the siege of Pulaski. Corp. Joseph 
M. Lewis died, on the 1st of March, 1862, after only a few hours' 
illness of ship fever, while on the way to Florida. He was buried 
at sea. To say of him that he also was young, gifted, brave and 
faithful is but poor tribute to his memory or relief to those who 
mourned with us his early loss. These vacancies in the company 
were soon followed by the resignation of 1st Lieut. Emmor G. 
Griffith, on account of illness (chronic diarrhoea), on April 30, 
1862. About this time, the following promotions were made, in 
the absence of Capt. Price, by Col. H. E. Guss: 1st Sergt. Isaac 
Smedley, promoted to 2d lieutenant, February 19, 1862, vice W. 
Gardiner, deceased; 2d Sergt. F. J. Eachus was acting 1st sergeant 
after the promotion of Smedley, the designation of 1st sergeant 
being delayed for a time; on February 1, 1862, 1st Corp. Stephen 
H. Eachus was promoted to 5th sergeant, vice Hambleton, de- 
ceased; the remaining corporals being advanced one in grade. On 
March 20, the following appointment of corporals was announced for 
Company C, by order of Col. H. R. Guss: 2d Corp. Henry KaufF- 
man, Jr., to be 1st corporal, vice J. M. Lewis, deceased; 3d Corp. 
Richard B. Moore, to be 2d corporal, vice Kauffman, promoted; 4th 
Corp. Hibberd Aitkin, to be 3d corporal, vice Moore, promoted ; 5th 
Coi-p. Samuel W. Hawley, to be 4th corporal, vice Aitkin, pro- 
moted; 6th Corp. Isaac A. Cleaver, to be 5th corporal, vice Hawley, 
promoted; 7th Corp. John Y. McCarter, to be 6th corporal, vice 
Cleaver, promoted;. Private B. Lundy Kent, to be 7th corporal, 
vice McCarter, promoted; Private John R. Miller, to be 8th cor- 
poral, to fill vacancy, to rank from March 20, 1862. On April 30, 
1862, upon the recommendation of Col. H. R. Guss, 2d Sergt, F. J. 
Eachus was commissioned as 1st lieutenant, vice Emmor Grifiith, 
resigned. The vacancies of 1st and 2d sergeant were not imme- 
diately filled. Upon due consideration, in regard to previous and 
subsequent promotions that might occur, it was determined by the 



VACANCIES AND PROMOTIONS IN COMPANY C. 33 

company commander, upon his return to the company, to recom- 
mend for promotion, to 1st sergeant, 1st Corp. Henry Kauffman, 
Jr., who was accordingly appointed, by order of Col. H. R. Guss, 
to rank from February 19, 1862, vice Smedley, promoted; 3d Sergt. 
J D. Beaver was then promoted to 2d sergeant, to rank from April 
30, 1862, vice F. J. Eachus, promoted; 4th Sergt. Joseph R. Acker 
was promoted to 3d sergeant, vice Beaver, promoted; 5th Sergt. S. 
H. Eachus was promoted to 4th sergeant, vice Acker, promoted; 
2d Corp. R. B. Moore was promoted to 5th sergeant, vice S. H. 
Eachus, promoted. The recommendations for these promotions were 
made in June, 1862, and the appointments made by order to date 
from April 30, 1862 The remaining corporals were advanced two 
in grade. To fill one of the vacancies. Private Davis O. Taylor was 
appointed 6th corporal, to rank from April 30, 1862. On June 6, 
1862, Corp. Hawley was promoted to be sergeant-major of the 
Regiment, and the death of Corp. Aitkin, occurring on July 26, 
1862, caused two more vacancies. The order promulgating these 
appointments was made in July, to rank from April 30, in the 
following order: 1st corporal. Cleaver, vice Kauffman, promoted; 2d 
corporal, McCarter, vice Moore, promoted; 3d corporal, Kent, vice 
Aitkin, deceased; 4th corporal. Miller, vice Hawley, promoted to 
non-commissioned staff; 5th corporal, Taylor, vice Miller, promoted; 
Private Robert Holmes was appointed 6th corporal, vice Taylor, 
promoted, to rank from July 18, 1862; Private Levis Beidler was 
appointed 7th corporal, to fill vacancy, to rank from July 18, 1862; 
Private Robert B. Wilson was appointed 8th corporal, to fill the 
remaining vacancy, August 1, 1862. When the company received 
an assignment of drafted men, November, 1863, the unexpended 
balance of company fund amounted to $429.36. It was ordered to 
be distributed to the men of the company by authority of Col. H. R. 
Guss. Capt. Price made the distribution, amounting to from $5.68 
to $6.97 per man, sixty-two in number, for which receipts were 
given upon a special roll prepared for the purpose. The company 
savings had always been carefully looked after, and were used, as 
wanted, for company purposes, by direction of a committee of non- 
commissioned officers, according to prescribed regulations. 

On January 18, 1863, Corp. Taylor was discharged to re-enlist in 

Company E, 3d U. S. Arty., and on the 28th of January, 1863, 

Corp. Holmes was discharged, for disability, on surgeon's certificate. 

Another vacancy was occasioned on April 1, 1863, by the appoint- 

3 



34 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. 

ment of 2d Corp. John Y. McCarter to hospital steward. To fill 
vacancies, the remaining corporals were advanced in grade as they 
occurred; and, on May 6, the following additional appointments 
were made, by order of Col. H. R. Guss, in Special Order No. 13: 
Private C. Burleigh Hambleton to 6th corporal, to rank from 
January 22, 1863; Private Maris Peirce to 7th corporal, to rank 
from February 8, 1863; Private M. Davis Thomas to 8th cor- 
poral, to rank from April 1, 1863. Owing to failing health, 2d 
Lieut. Isaac Smedley had tendered his resignation, on March 9, 
which, being accepted in April, created a vacancy in the line. To 
fiU this, 1st Sergt. Henry Kauffman was appointed 2d lieutenant, to 
rank as such from March 9, 1863. The four remaining sergeants 
were advanced one in grade, the order promoting them and filling 
the vacancy being dated July 1, 1863. 2d Sergt. J. D. Beaver 
was released from duty as color bearer to fulfil the duties of 1st 
sergeant; 1st Corp. Isaac A. Cleaver was appointed 5th sergeant; 
2d Corp. B. L. Kent was promoted to 1st corporal; the six re- 
maining corporals were advanced one in grade, and Private Jesse D. 
Farra was promoted to 8th corporal; on February 29, 1864, 1st 
Corp. B. L. Kent was discharged to re-enlist as veteran; he was 
re-appointed Sd*^ corporal on same date. 

The next vacancy in the company ofiicers was caused by the pro- 
motion of Capt. Price to major, to rank from April 3, 1864. This 
was filled by the appointment of Adjt. H. W. Carruthers, formerly 
1st lieutenant of Company C, to be captain. These commissions 
were not received until June 6, 1864, when, owing to the absence 
of Lieut. Col. Pennypacker, on account of wounds, these ofiicers 
could not be mustered until his return and muster as lieutenant 
colonel of the Regiment. On May 18, in action at Green Plains, 
Va., 2d Sergt. Isaac Acker was killed, and 4th Corp. R. B. Wilson 
and 7th Corp. M. Davis Thomas were mortally wounded. The latter 
died on May 24 and the former on the 25th. On May 28, the 3d, 
4th and 5th sergeants were advanced to 2d, 3d and 4th sergeants, 
respectively, and 1st Corp. B. L. Kent was appointed 5th sergeant; 
2d and 3d Corps. Miller and Beidler were promoted to 1st and 2d 
corporals; 5th and 6th Corps. Hambleton and Peirce were .pro- 
moted to 3d and 4th corporals, and 8th Corp. Farra to 5th corporal; 
Privates J. J. Dewees, L. R. Thomas and G. W. Abel were promoted 
to 6th, 7th and 8th corporals, respectively. On August 16, 1864, 
Capt. H. W. Carruthers was mortally wounded in action, at Straw- 



VACANCIES AND PROMOTIONS IN COMPANY C. 35 

berry Plains, Va., from which he died on August 22, 1864. There 
was no immediate promotion to fill the vacancy. Corp. L. R. 
Thomas was appointed quarter-master sergeant, September 1, 1864, 
vice Qr. Mr. Sergt. Taggart, and transferred to non-commissioned 
staff. 

As the term of service of the original officers and men expired, 
from September 11 to 21, they were mustered out by Capt. T, E. 
Lord, and returned home, except 1st Lieut. F. J. Eachus, against 
whom charges were pending for trial before court-martial, and three 
non-commissioned officers and seven priv^ates, who had re-enlisted at 
Fernandina, Fla., in accordance with general orders of the War 
Department, No. 191, series of 1863, and No. 25, of 1864. Of 
these, Sergt. Kent, having applied for promotion in the United 
States colored troops, was ordered to report to the superintendent 
of recruiting service for duty in the Department of the Southwest, 
about the end of August, having received notice of his being ap- 
pointed to a captaincy in the 13th U. S. Hy. Art. (colored troops). 
He was, however, not discharged and re-mustered until the 17th of 
April, 1865, owing to the arbitrary and unjust conduct of the colonel 
of the Regiment, but having vigorously endeavored to obtain his 
muster, it was ordered by Special Order No. 47, Head-Quarters De- 
partment of Kentucky. Capt. Kent encountered and overcame the 
most persistent and systematic injustice, on the part of the com- 
manding officer of the Regiment, to prevent his muster, by assigning 
the men obtained by him to other companies, so as to reap the ad- 
vantage of his success in recruiting himself. Capt. Kent finally 
presented himself before the proper authorities, with a sufficient 
number of men, and was duly mustered as captain of Company E, 
13th Regiment, before reporting with his men to the colonel, other- 
wise he would have been still further delayed and prevented from 
drawing the pay due to re-imburse the heavy expenses incurred for 
the recruiting service out of his o^vn means. 

Qr. Mr. Sergt. Leonard R. Thomas was promoted to 2d lieu- 
tenant, September 23, 1864, vice Kauffman, term expired. About 
the same time, Corp. Abel was promoted to sergeant, and to 1st 
sergeant; Private Warren to corporal and to 2d sergeant; and 
Private Showalter to 3d sergeant. Privates Thomas Clark and 
William Hammill, drafted, Francis Hoffman and Cyrus M. Davis, 
veterans, were the first corporals appointed after the discharge of 
the former non-commissioned officers. Among the men assigned to 



36 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. 

the Regiment, October 20, 1864, were two Polanders, who claimed 
to be officers in the Polish army, one a captain and the other a 
lieutenant, who desired to serve in our army for the advantage of 
its drill and discipline. These men, Casper Slabowski and Albert 
Lesczzynski were appointed corporals, and subsequently sergeants of 
the company, being discharged with the Regiment in that rank. 

On the 3d of November, 1864, 1st Lieut. F. J. Eachus was 
discharged. The court-martial before which he was tried, having 
found him guilty of the charges preferred, had sentenced him to 
be dishonorably discharged from the service; but, pending the 
promulgation of the sentence, upon his earnest application, Col. 
Pennypacker interposed no objection to his being mustered out of 
service, upon his claim of expiration of service, which was accord- 
ingly done, by Capt. T. E. Lord, on the above date. To fill this 
vacancy, 2d Lieut. Leonard R. Thomas was promoted, the date of 
his appointment being November 1, 1864. No other promotions 
followed until after the action at Fort Fisher, N. C. 

On February 1, 1st Lieut. Thomas was promoted to captain; 
1st Serg't. George W. Abel to 1st lieutenant; 2d Sergt. Warren 
to 1st sergeant. On February 1, Capt. Thomas was promoted to 
major, vice Martin, promoted to lieutenant colonel; his commission 
was not received until June; he was not mustered as major. 1st 
Lieut. Abel received promotion, same date, to captain, but was 
not mustered. On May 1, 1st Sergt. Charles Warren was promoted 
to 2d lieutenant, and on June 1 to 1st lieutenant, but was not 
mustered. On same date, Sergt. C. B. Showalter was promoted to 
1st sergeant and to 2d lieutenant, but was not mustered. The only 
remaining promotions were those of Corps. Hammill, Davis, Sla- 
bowski and Lesczzynski to sergeants. The dates of promotion of 
Corps. Hammill and Davis were recorded as July 1 and 26, 1865, 
respectively; of the others no dates could be found. Corp. Clark 
was killed, at Fort Fisher, N. C, January 15, 1865, and Corp. 
Hoffman was transferred to Company E, 3d U. S. Arty., June 24, 
1865. The following named privates were appointed corporals; 
Isaac Rodgers and James H. Quinby, date of appointment unknown; 
both were discharged, by general order, on June 5 and 28, 1865, 
respectively; Thomas H. Bastian, substitute, appointed corporal 
April 1, 1865, was discharged by general order, June 23, 1865; 
George J. Switzer, drafted, promoted to corporal June 26, 1865; 
John Latch and Henry H. Stiteler, veterans, were promoted to 



ORGANIZATION OF COMPANY D. 37 

corporals, July 1, 1865; Joseph Brown and Daniel W. Clemmer, 
drafted, promoted to corporals ; no date given." The five last named 
were all mustered out with the company. 



Company D, Concordville Rifles. 

The fourth company of the 97th Regiment was recruited by 
William S. Mendenhall, of Chadd's Ford, Delaware County, Pa. 
He was descended from a family of English Quakers, who emi- 
grated to America during the persecutions of that people in Eng- 
land, and settled in Concord, Delaware County, contemporary with 
the William Penn settlers in Pennsylvania. Two brothers, Moses 
and Robert Mendenhall, and a sister, who married a Mr. West, 
and was the mother of Benjamin West, the celebrated painter, were 
among the earliest settlers, from whom sprung a numerous family. 
Their descendants, for several generations, were landed proprietors 
in Chester and Delaware counties, leading the quiet life of Friends> 
well-to-do and respected. Caleb Mendenhall, grandfather of Wil- 
liam, married a Miss Taylor, of Westtown, of whom were born two 
sons and five daughters. They lived near Chadd's Ford, Delaware 
County. Their youngest son, J. Taylor Mendenhall, married Miss 
Julia Speakman, daughter of William Speakman, of Dilworthtown. 
The eldest son of this marriage was William S. Mendenhall, born at 
the historic locality of Chadd's Ford, October 13, 1830. At the 
death of his parents, when about five years of age, he went to reside 
with his Grandfather Speakman, who sent him regularly to school 
until about thirteen years of age, when the death of his grandfather 
occurred. He then found a home with Mr. James Cloud, of Con- 
cordville, Delaware County, where he remained, going to school 
occasionally, until near sixteen years of age, when he found a place 
in the office of Hon. Nimrod Strickland, editor of the " American 
Republican," at West Chester, Pa. About a year after, when the 
Mexican War broke out, young Mendenhall, fired with patriotic 
ardor, volunteered under the call of President Polk, in December, 
1846, for ten new regiments to reinforce the army in Mexico. He 
joined, and was appointed a corporal in Capt. C. J. Biddle's company, 
in Philadelphia, which was ordered to rendezvous at Brazos San- 
tiago, in February, 1847. It was then assigned to the 1st Regiment 
U. S. Voltigeurs, under command of Col. F. P. Andrews, with 



38 HISTORY OP THE NINETY-SEVENTH KEGIMENT. 

Lieut. Col. Joseph" E. Johnson and Majs. Talbot and Caldwell, all 
of the U. S. A. He participated with his regiment in the siege of 
Vera Cruz, under Gen. Scott, and with Gen. Cadwalader, in the 
battles of Cerro Gordo, Jalapa, Perote and Puebla, and in assisting 
to keep open communication between Vera Cruz and Puebla; 
afterwards, in the valley of the city of Mexico; at the battle of 
Contreras, August 20, 1847; at Buena Vista, Cherubusco, and 
Molino del Rey, September 11; and at Casa del Mata, where he 
was wounded in the right foot; on the 13th of September, at the 
fierce storming of Chepultepec, the key to the gates of Mexico, he 
was again slightly wounded in the head, and was with the final 
assault upon the last defences of the city and the triumphal entrance 
into the Mexican capital. He remained with the army of occupa- 
tion until after the conclusion of peace, July 4, 1848. His regi- 
ment left Mexico, in October, and was disbanded at Fort McHenry, 
Baltimore, November, 1848. 

After an honorable discharge, and with the commendation of his 
officers for faithful services, he returned to West Chester, being then 
about eighteen years of age. The discovery of gold in California, 
during the winter of 184S, having attracted his attention, he joined 
a company of adventurers known as the Philadelphia Mining Com- 
pany. Their vessel, the Clarissa Perkins, sailed in January, 1849. 
After a tedious and eventful voyage around Cape Horn, they arrived 
at San Francisco, having been out eight months and fourteen days. 

The city at that time was a motley collection of tents and houses, 
property of every description being strewn about without owners, 
people having abandoned all and emigrated to the mines. This com- 
pany followed the example in eager haste to reach the El Dorado. 
After a varied experience at the mines on Sacramento and Ameri- 
can Rivers, attended by little success, he joined Col. Fremont's ex- 
ploring party for Southern California, in the Fall of 1 849, but, pur- 
sued by hostile Indians, the party returned to winter at Long Gulch 
and engaged in mining successfully. He remained in California 
until the summer of 1858, continued mining at various places, and 
was connected with prospecting parties in exploring, while a wilder- 
ness, most of the places that have since become noted towns and 
cities peopled with numerous inhabitants, prosperous in the products 
of adventurous enterprise and wealth. He was also active in the 
organization of companies of mounted men for defence against 
hostile Indians, who resisted the presence of the white man in his 



ORGANIZATION OF COMPANY D. 39 

native wilds. The narration of these adventures, affording material 
and interest for a volume, would be too extensive for the present 
sketch. After ten years of pioneer life, with its attendant hardships 
and exposures, Mr. Mendenhall returned to the Atlantic States in 
the summer of 1858. The next two years were spent in traveling 
through the Northern and Southern States. During 1860, he was 
in Texas and Alabama, while Yancey, Rhett and others were 
firing the Southern heart, and was present when the secession de- 
claration of the Montgomery convention was received with the 
wildest joy by the people. The firing upon Maj. Anderson, at Fort 
Sumter; the attack of the Alabama State troops on Mount Vernon 
Island and the forts of Mobile harbor, and the treachery of Gen. 
Twiggs, in Texas, events following in such rapid succession, deter- 
mined the patriotic young democrat to choose sides in the coming 
conflict involving the life of his country. 

Quietly making his arrangements, he resolved to proceed north 
by the first opportunity. This he effected, arriving at Wilmington, 
Del., in time to join the 1st Delaware Regiment (three months' vo- 
lunteers), under the first call of President Lincoln for seventy-five 
thousand men, on April 26, 1861. The regiment was commanded 
by Col. H. H. Lockwood, and was by the War Department sta- 
' tioned upon duty on the Philadelphia, Wilmington and Baltimore 
Railroad, from Havre de Grace to Baltimore, to guard the road and 
bridges from interruption and keep open the line of communication 
to Washington during the gathering of the army. The regiment 
was disbanded, at the expiration of the three months' service, at 
Wilmington, August 7, 1861. 

Upon his return, at the end of that service, with the 1st Dela- 
ware Regiment, W. S. Mendenhall was solicited, by several of his 
Delaware acquaintances, to form a company for the three years' 
service, in which his Delaware County friends also joined, and, 
having received from Col. Guss authority to recruit a company for 
the 97th Regiment, he determined to canvass in Delaware County, 
with head-quarters at Concordville. Within a few days, over fifty 
men signed the roll of his company, which was called the Concord- 
ville Rifles, in honor of his boyhood home. A meeting was called, 
at Media, on August 23, 1861, to organize the company and select 
its ofiicers. It was held at the office of Jesse L. Cummins, Esq. 
The day being very wet the attendance was not large. The pro- 
ceedings are here given: 



40 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. 

Media, Pa., August 23, 1861. 

The persons enrolled for the formation of a company of volunteers 
to form a part of the regiment being organized by Col. Henry K. 
Guss, of West Chester, met, pursuant to notice, in Media, this 
evening. Mr. Jesse L. Cummins was called to the chair, and Dr. 
G. B. Hotchkins appointed secretary of the meeting. The roll 
being called, the following persons answered to their names : "Wil- 
liam S. Mendenhall, Concordville ; George W. Williams, Crozier- 
ville; Isaac Fawkes, Dilworthtown ; Charles H. Hannum, Philip E. 
Hannum, Concordville; Stephen W. Cloud, David M. Cloud, Lewis 
C. Cloud, Henry H. Cloud, Harmon B. Cloud, John Jordan, Wil- 
mington, Del.; Isaac B. Hannum, John Sheen, Michael Karney, 
Jesse Walters, William H. Larkin, Concord; Joseph Russell, Bir- 
mingham; Samuel Parker, Lenni; Charles S. Cloud, John F. Cloud, 
Crozier villa. 

After some discussion in reference to the small attendance ot 
the persons enrolled, it was resolved to proceed with the organiza- 
tion. Nominations for officers were then made as follows: for 
captain, William S. Mendenhall; for 1st lieutenant, George W. 
Williams and Isaac Fawkes; for 2d lieutenant, Isaac Fawkes and 
Charles H. Hannum. 

William S Mendenhall was elected captain by acclamation. On 
balloting for 1st lieutenant, George W. Williams received fifteen 
votes and Isaac Fawkes five votes. George W. Williams was de- 
clared elected 1st lieutenant. On balloting for 2d lieutenant, Isaac 
Fawkes received seven votes, and Charles H. Hannum thirteen 
votes. Charles H. Hannum was declared duly elected 2d lieute- 
nant. Charles H. Hannum then arose and declined the office, 
stating he believed Mr. Fawkes more capable of performing the 
duties of that office, and moved the re-nomination of Isaac Fawkes. 
On motion, his proposition was accepted, and Isaac Fawkes was 
declared unanimously elected 2d lieutenant. 

On motion, a vote of thanks was unanimously given to the officers 
of the meeting for their services, and to Mr. James R. Cummins for 
a bountiful supper given to the company present, and for the use of 
his office for the meeting. Also to Mr. Charles H. Hannum for his 
patriotic conduct in giving up a valuable office for the best good of 
the company. 

[Signed] J. L. Cummins, Pres't. 

G. B. HoTCHKiNS, Sec'y. 



ORGANIZATION OF COMPANY D. 41 

This meeting having effected the organization, the enrollment 
proceeded rapidly, after some stirring appeals posted throughout the 
county and in the papers. It was found necessary to establish a 
permanent rendezvous, where the enrolled men might be supplied 
with subsistence and quarters until arrangements were made for 
their muster into the service. Thirty-six men were collected and 
occupied quarters in Camp Wayne, West Chester, about September 
1, 1861. The sheds on the eastern side of the camp were fixed up 
for barracks. Provisions, cooking utensils, and blankets for tem- 
porary use, were supplied through the generosity of the citizens of 
West Chester. 

The first muster was had on September 6, 1861, when 1st Sergt. 
Henry Odiorne and thirty-nine men were mustered into the service, 
at Camp Wayne, by Capt. G. Pennypacker. 

On September 9, 1st Lieut. George W. Williams, of Crozierville, 
who had materially assisted in recruiting the company, was mus- 
tered, by the same officer, with thirteen additional men. On 
the 11th, there was a muster of six men; on the 16th, ten men; 
on the 18th, two men; on the 19th, three men; on the 20th, 
Capt. Mendenhall and 2d Lieut. Isaac Fawkes, with six additional 
men were mustered, making an aggregate of eighty-three, officers 
and men, completing the organization at the minimum number and 
giving the captain fourth place in rank of company officers. On 
September 21, four additional men were mustered; on the 23d, seven 
men; on the 24th, five men, and on the 28th, two men; making the 
aggregate of one hundred and one, officers and men. 

The non-commissioned officers then designated were: 1st ser- 
geant, Henry Odiorne; 2d sergeant, Charles H. Hannum; 3d 
sergeant, Samuel McBride; 4th sergeant, John E. Davis; 5th ser- 
geant, Isaac B. Taylor; 1st corporal, David W. Odiorne; 2d corporal, 
Stephen W. Cloud; 3d corporal, Wilbur F. Flannery; 4th corporal, 
James A. Allen; 5th corporal, William H. Snyder; 6th corporal, 
William McCarty; 7th corporal, David M. Cloud; 8th corporal, 
Kobert Fairlamb. 

To fill vacancies, caused by discharge and desertions at Camp 
Wayne, there were subsequent musters as follows: on October 17, 
one man; October 26, one man; November 4, one man, and 
November 13, two men; making the entire muster for the company, 
at West Chester, three commissioned officers and one hundred and 
three men; total, one hundred and six. 



42 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH EEGIMENT. 

For this company, and those previously organized, the number 
could have been largely increased, beyond the limit, from the 
numerous applications after they were fiUed. Many of these appli- 
cants subsequently entered other companies. 'iVo men deserted 
from Camp Wayne and were not retaken. Two were discharged, 
for disability, in October, 1861. 

On October 12, 1861, the company was invited to a reception by 
the citizens of Concordville, Delaware Co., and marched from West 
Chester, at 9 A. M., taking the West Chester and Wilmington 
plank road, a distance of eight miles, to Concordville, arriving at 
11 A. M., where the company was heartily welcomed by a large 
concourse of citizens assembled to greet them. 

Several prominent citizens addressed the command in patriotic 
speeches, which were replied to by Capt. Mendenhall and others of 
the company, pledging the fidelity of the entire command to the 
country in her time of peril and need. Much enthusiasm was mani- 
fested. The men sat down to a sumptuous dinner, at 1 P. M., 
under the shade trees. The repast was furnished by the ladies of 
the vicinity, who vied with each other in attentions to the gallant 
men, many of whom were never to return to revisit the scene of 
this most cordial welcome, the remembrance of which lived as a 
green spot in the recollections of home during the years of peril, 
hardship and suffering that followed in the field. 

After dinner, the company paraded and drilled to the satisfaction 
of all present. About 4.30 P. M., they set out on their return 
march, in the midst of a rain storm, giving nine hearty cheers 
for the people of Concordville and its vicinity for their royal wel- 
come. After a march of three miles, the company, well drenched 
with the rain, reached Cheyney's Station, on the West Chester and 
Philadelphia Railroad, where they took cars for West Chester, 
arriving at Camp Wayne about 6.30 P. Ml, wet and tired but 
greatly gratified with one of the most pleasant days in the history of 
the company. 

A few days after the events just noticed, Capt. Mendenhall's 
Concordville friends made him a present of a handsome Colt's 
revolver as a testimonial of their esteem, which he carried through 
the entire service. 

The time in Camp Wayne was spent in constant drill and exer- 
cise, preparing the men for service in the field. About October 3, 
the company was armed, uniformed and equipped for active service, 



ORGANIZATION OF COMPANY D. 43 

the arms being the smooth-bore percussion muskets, received from 
the Bridesburg arsenal. The average ages of the officers and men 
of Company D vpas twenty-one years, many having a youthful ap- 
pearance. It v?as remarked by William Whitehead, Esq., who 
administered the oath of enlistment to the first forty men on the 
enrollment list, "That the men looked young for soldiers." Capt. 
Mendenhall replied, "They are the best material for soldiers; they 
will develop into hardy tough men." Before the close of the war, 
his observation proved correct, as the hardiest men of the company 
were the youngest. 

About the 18th of October, Capt. Mendenhall appealed to the 
people of Concord and of Delaware County, soliciting their aid 
in procuring an outfit of rubber blankets to protect his men in 
the winter campaign. A meeting was called at Concordville and a 
subscription list started. By the earnest endeavors of Hon. Wil- 
liam Gamble, Mrs. Dr. Pennock, and a host of other friends, the 
company was furnished with a complete outfit of rubber blankets 
before their departure for the field of duty. The roster of Com- 
pany D, in another part of this work, sets forth the record of each 
man, so far as could be obtained from every available source, and 
will show the promotions in each grade as far as was possible to ob- 
tain the dates of promotion. The personal remarks in the company 
roster, enclosed in brackets, are taken from a record roll, furnished 
by Capt. Mendenhall, and are given without any intention of 
making invidious distinction. 

About the 1st of December, 1863, at Fernandina, Fla., fifty men 
of Company D re-enlisted as veterans, in conformity with terms of 
general orders of the War Department, Washington, D. C, No. 
191, series of 1863. They were subsequently re-mustered by 1st 
Lieut. M. V. B. Richardson, A. C. M. Dept. South, to date from 
enrollment, December 1, 1863. They returned home, with the 
veterans of the Regiment, upon veteran furlough of thirty days, 
under command of Capt. W. S. Mendenhall, starting from Fernan- 
dina, Fla., on the 27th of March, 1864. The account of the return 
is given in the narrative of the Regiment. 

From a tabular statement, furnished by Capt. Mendenhall, of the 
casualties in his company, the following summary is taken: Total 
number mustered at Camp Wayne, three officers and one hundred 
and three men; total, one hundred and six. Of the enlisted men, 
three deserted and two were discharged at West Chester. At the 



44 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. 

end of the war, of the officers and men originally enlisted, there had 
been killed two commissioned officers and fourteen enlisted men; 
wounded, two commissioned officers and thirty enlisted men; died 
from wounds, four enlisted men ; discharged for wounds, three en- 
listed men; died from sickness, nine enlisted men; discharged for 
disability, one commissioned officer (resigned), and twelve enlisted 
men; transferred, one enlisted man; discharged, at the expiration 
of service, one commissioned officer, two sergeants, seven corporals 
and sixteen privates ; one recruit, received May 1, 1864; total ac- 
counted for, one hundred and seven, officers and men. Of the fifty 
re-enlisted veterans, included in above account, nine were killed, 
two died of wounds, one was captured, wounded and died in rebel 
prison, nineteen were wounded, one discharged for wounds, one 
transferred and seventeen not injured; total, fifty. These losses 
occurred chiefly before the expiration of the original term of service. 
Of the twenty-three drafted men assigned to the company, at Fer- 
nandina, Fla., two were killed, seven wounded, four discharged for 
Avounds, eight deserted and two were transferred. 



Company E, Mulligan Guards. 

Company E was recruited by William McConnell, a naturalized 
citizen of the United States, born in Caven Co., Ireland, about the 
year 1827. He received an excellent education at a college in 
Londonderry. He emigrated to this country, with other members 
of his family, about the year 1848, settled in Philadelphia, and was 
engaged in a mercantile house as clerk and book-keeper. After a 
few years, he went to New York, where, in 1852, he married Eliza 
Jane Jephson, of that city. He soon afterwards found employment 
as a house painter. He then returned to Philadelphia, and about 
1853 removed to West Chester, Pa., where he followed the oc- 
ctipation of painting, with diligence and success, for several years 
previous to the war. He became an active member of the National 
Guards, and was a thoroughly drilled soldier. He had received an 
appointment as a non-commissioned officer in his company, and was 
noted for accuracy and precision in the various movements of the 
drill, etc. 

When his company, commanded by Capt. H. R. Guss, marched to 
Harrisburg, in April, 1861, to enter the three months' service, with 



ORGANIZATION OF COMPANY E. 45 

a sufficient number of men enrolled to organize three companies, 
he was appointed 1st sergeant of Company E, 9th Regiment P. V., 
and served in that capacity during the term, an account of which 
is elsewhere given. 

Upon the return and muster out of the 9th Regiment, at Harris- 
burg, July 29, 1861, Sergt. McConnell was authorized, by Col. H. 
R. Guss, to recruit a company for his Regiment. Upon this duty 
he entered with energy and determination, about the 5th of August, 
1861, and soon began to realize success. The men he enlisted were 
chiefly naturalized citizens, of his native land, residents of Chester 
County, who espoused the cause of their adopted country in her 
conflict with treason. They generally made sturdy, reliable soldiers, 
efficient in the fleld of battle and in the arduous trench duty that 
became so largely the experience of the Regiment during the war. 

On September 9, 1861, the first muster for the company was 
made, by Maj. G. Pennypacker, of thirty men; on the 11th, nine 
men were mustered; on the 14th, one man; on the 15th, two men; 
on the 16th, ten men; on the 18th, seven men; on the 20th, one 
man; on the 21st, three men; on the 23d, six men; on the 24th, one 
man, an aggregate of seventy men, when John W. Babb, of West 
Chester, was mustered as 1st lieutenant of the company. On the 
20th of September, Capt. McConnell collected his men, sixty having 
been mustered, and occupied the barracks on the eastern side of 
Camp Wayne. Additional musters were made each day, as recruits 
were enlisted. On 2d of October, the number had reached eighty- 
two, when Capt. McConnell was mustered, and the company desig- 
nated as Company E, 97th Pennsylvania Volunteers, it being the 
sixth company organized. John McGrath, of West Chester, was 
also mustered, on the 2d of October, as 2d lieutenant. The officers 
and non-commissioned officers were as follows: captain, William 
McConnell, West Chester; 1st lieutenant, John W. Babb, West 
Chester; 2d lieutenant, John McGrath, West Chester; 1st sergeant, 
James McWilliams; 2d sergeant, Samuel D. Smith; 3d sergeant, 
James Coughlin; 4th sergeant, John McNamee; 5th sergeant, 
Patrick Carter; 1st corporal, George L. Smith; 2d corporal, 
Edward Corcoran; 3d corporal, George Jenkins; 4th corporal, 
Bernard McDermott; 5th corporal, William Glanding; 6th corpo- 
ral, James O. Day; 7th corporal, John Sullivan; 8th corporal, 
Wilham H. Spicer; musicians, Charles Riley, Jr., and Hugh 
O'Donnell, Jr.; wagoner, Jonathan Pine. 



46 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. 

The militia name adopted by the company was Mulligan Guards. 
The company was filled to the maximum number, October 29, seven- 
teen men having been mustered subsequent to October 2; on No- 
vember 8 and December 26, two additional men were mustered to 
fill vacancies from desertions. One of these, enlisted by 1st Lieut. 
Taylor, of Company H, joined the company, at Warsaw Sound, 
Ga., July 15, 1862. On February 10, 1862, another recruit, Francis 
Carter, was enlisted at West Chester, Pa., and forwarded to the com- 
pany with other recruits ; he was subsequently promoted to corporal, 
re-enlisted as a veteran volunteer, in February, 1864; was captured 
in action, near Pe- tersDur g, Va., Jttly 16, 1864; was prisoner until 
December 21, 1864, and died at Annapolis, Md., December 30, 
1864, while a paroled prisoner of war. The men of Company E 
were of a hearty, robust physique, and many of them, after re- 
ceiving the benefit of careful training by Capt. McConnell and his 
officers, made very good soldiers; but the climate of the South 
proved more disastrous to this company than to some of the others, 
the men seeming to be more subject to the chills and with prevalent 
tendency to chronic diarrhoea. Those who remained able for duty 
were very effective soldiers, both in the field and at fatigue duty 
upon the lines of intrenchment and earthworks. 

On April 26, 1862, 1st Lieut. John H. Babb resigned, on account 
of failing health from climatic influence. 2d Lieut. John McGrath 
was then promoted to 1st lieutenant and 4th Sergt. John McNamee 
was promoted to 2d lieutenant. He served until May 9, 1863, when 
he resigned, and was honorably discharged on surgeon's certificate 
of disability. 1st Sergt. James Mc Williams was then promoted to 
2d lieutenant. At Fernandina, Fla., in February, 1864, twenty-six 
men of Company E re-enlisted as veterans and went home on fur- 
lough for thirty days. The names of these men appear on the 
company roster marked " Vet." 

Owing to failing health, from exposure during the arduous duties 
in the Department of the South, Capt. McConnell was honorably 
discharged, April 28, 1864, when the Regiment reached Hilton 
Head, S. C, en route to join Gen. Butler's command, at Gloucester 
Point, Va. He returned home and became somewhat improved in 
health, but he never fully recovered. He died at his home, in West 
Chester, Pa., August 14, 1866, of hemorrhage of bowels, resulting 
from the effects of long prostration from chronic diarrhoea. 

Upon the resignation of papt. McConnell, there was no pro- 

l 



ORGANIZATION OF COMPANY F. 47 

motion to fill the vacancy. 1st Lieut. McGrath commanded the 
company for a time ; but, being detailed upon duty in the quarter- 
master and commissary departments, the company was mostly com- 
manded by 2d Lieut. Mc Williams until his discharge, November 3, 
1864. 1st Lieut. John McGrath was discharged on account of ex- 
piration of term of service, November 10, 1864. The original men 
of the company, who had not re-enlisted, were discharged as their 
terms of service expired, and returned to their homes, being fur- 
nished with transportation to the place of enlistment. 

1st Sergt. Samuel D. Smith was promoted to 1st lieutenant, 
December 6, 1864, and commanded the company during the re- 
mainder of the service. He was commissioned and mustered as 
captain of the company. May 1, 1865, and continued its com- 
manding officer until mustered out, August 28, 1865. On May 1, 
1st Sergt. John C. Nicholson was mustered as 1st lieutenant and 
Sergt. John Sullivan as 2d lieutenant. These officers were mustered 
out with the company, August 28, 1864, having received their pro- 
motion for gallant and meritorious service at Fort Fisher, N. C. 

There has been no complete record found of the dates of pro- 
motions of the non-commissioned officers from which a correct list 
could be made, or it would have been given. It is believed that 
the roster of the company will show the names of all who were thus 
promoted, in the different grades, but some dates are necessarily 
omitted. 



Company F, National Guards. 

The sixth company of the 97th Regiment was recruited by De 
Witt Clinton Lewis, of West Chester, Pa. His paternal grand- 
father, Phineas Lewis, born in Chester Co., Pa., was the son of a 
Welsh emigrant, James Lewis, who came to this country previous 
to the Revolution. He became a soldier in the American army and 
served during the War of Independence. The grandmother of 
Capt. Lewis, also of Welsh descent, was one of the survivors of the 
massacre at Wyoming, having escaped by drifting down the Susque- 
hanna, the night after, in a flat-boat. His grandfather, on his 
mother's side, Patrick McKennin, a Scotch-Irishman, who came to 
this country before the Revolution, also became a soldier in the 
American army and served during the war. He was wounded at 



48 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. 

the battle of Brandywine. He died at the age of ninety years. 
Mary,'his wife, was a German girl, who came to this country when 
quite young, and was sold by the captain of the vessel, for payment 
of her passage, as was often the case at that period. 

Capt. Lewis' father was Benjamin Lewis, of Chester Co., Pa., 
somewhat extensively known as a school teacher, and, during the 
last few years of his life, engaged at Gause's Academy, on the 
Brandywine, near Marshalton. He died at the age of twenty-eight 
years. His mother, Margaret (McKennin) Lewis, was born in 
Chester Co., and died at the age of seventy-eight years. De W. C. 
Lewis was born near West Chester, Pa., on the 30th of July, 1822. 
After the death of his father, he lived with the family of Joseph 
Taylor, father of Bayard Taylor, during the boyhood of the poet, 
until sixteen years of age, after which he learned the trade of a 
carpenter with Samuel Way, at West Chester, Pa. Having a liking 
for a military life, at the age of eighteen, he joined a volunteer 
company in West Chester, called the National Grays, commanded 
by Capt. William Apple. He continued an active member until the 
company was disbanded, in 1842. 

On the breaking out of the war with Mexico, in 1846, he joined, 
as one of its first members, a company called the National Guards, 
raised by Capt. William Apple, who had commanded the National 
Grays. The company was designed to form a part of the State 
quota, tendered its services and was accepted by the State authori- 
ties and designated as a part of the 3d Regiment Pennsylvania 
Volunteers, but was not called into active service. The company 
continued its organization, Mr. Lewis remaining an active member 
until the rebellion occurred, it being the same company of which 
Capt. H. R. Guss became the commanding officer, in June, 1859. 

When the services of the company were accepted, for the three 
months' term, in April, 1860, Mr. Lewis marched with it, as a 
private soldier, to Harrisburg, Pa., and, upon the organization of 
two other companies of the men enlisted by Capt. Guss, Mr. Lewis 
was elected 1st lieutenant of Capt. James F. Andrews' Company E, 
in the 9th Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers, and served with the 
company until its discharge, at Harrisburg, Pa., July 29, 1861. He 
then returned to West Chester with his discharged comrades. On 
August 4, 1861, Lieut. Lewis received authority, from Col. H. R. 
Guss, to recruit a company for his Regiment, and soon after entered 
upon the work of enlistment. By the 23d of September, he had 



ORGANIZATION OF COMPANY F. 49 

fifty-six men enrolled, who were, on that day, mustered into the 
service of the United States by Maj. G. Pennypacker, with Joseph 
T. Burnett, of West Chester, as 1st lieutenant. These recruits, in 
charge of Lieut. Burnett, after being mustered, went into quarters 
in Camp Wayne, and occupied the barracks on the north side of 
the camp, from the east corner, adjoining the quarters of the guard 
established at the entrance. On the 3d of October, having a suffi- 
cient number of men enlisted, the remaining officers were then 
mustered into the service by Maj. Pennypacker: De W. C. Lewis, 
as captain, and Oliver E. Strickland, of West Chester, as 2d lieute- 
nant, and the company designated Company F, 97th Regiment P. 
V. The militia name adopted by the company was the National 
Guards, after the former company of which Capt. Lewis and several 
of the men had been members. 

The company was filled to the maximum number about the 15th 
of October, 1861. The men were mostly residents of Chester 
county. They received the usual outfit of clothing, etc., soon after 
being mustered, and the camp and garrison equipage was fur- 
nished when the company was fully organized. Arms were not issued 
to Company F, at Camp Wayne, the company having been per- 
mitted to use those belonging to the Old National Guards, of 
West Chester, while it remained at that place. The same attention 
to drill and discipline, and exercise in the various preliminary move- 
ments requisite to the thorough training of the soldier, as has been 
described in regard to the other companies, was also maintained by 
Capt. Lewis and his officers, in order to prepare their men for effi- 
cient service in the field. 

The following named were the original non-commissioned officers 
of Company F: 1st sergeant, John Wainwright; 2d sergeant, 
Thomas Cosgriff"; 3d sergeant, John Kennedy; 4th sergeant, 
Thomas B. Guest; 5th sergeant, J. Elwood Huntsman; 1st corporal, 
Thomas H. Short; 2d corporal, Lee A. Stroud; 3d corporal, James 
T. Terry; 4th corporal, Caleb Mercer; 5th corporal, John Weber; 
6th corporal, Daniel Farrell; 7th corporal, James A. Fries; 8th 
corporal, Edward Townsend; musicians, Thomas St. John and Jesse 
Opperman; teamster, James D. Roberts. Eighty-one privates; 
total, one hundred men. 

On the 8th of January, 1862, at Hilton Head, S. C, 2d Lieut. 
0. E. Stickland resigned, on account of failing health, and was 
honorably discharged. To fill the vacancy, 1st Sergt. John Wain- 
4 



50 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT.. 

Wright was promoted to 2d lieutenant. 1st Lieut. Joseph T. Bur- 
nett resigned, for the same cause, and was honorably discharged, at 
Hilton Head, S. C, on March 9, 1863. 2d Lieut. John Wainwright 
was then promoted to 1st lieutenant, and 1st Sergt. Thomas Cos-' 
griff to 2d lieutenant. 

On February 29, 1864, at Fernandina, Fla., forty-five men of the 
company re-enlisted as veterans for the war, and were re-mustered 
on March 15, 1864, by 1st Lieut. M. V. B. Richards, 4th N. H. V. 
A. C. M. Department of the South, to rank from February 2^, 1864, 
and December 31, 1863, the days previous to enrollment of the men 
as veterans. Their names are marked " Vet." on the roster of the 
Regiment.. These men received a furlough of thirty days, and re- 
turned home with the other veterans of the Regiment. 

No other changes occurred in the commissioned officers of the 
company until the expiration of Capt. Lewis' term of service, when 
he was honorably discharged, September 20, 1864. Previous to his 
discharge, Capt. Lewis was in temporary command of Company A, 
for a short period, during the absence of the officers of that com- 
pany, all of whom had been wounded. On the 28th of August, 
1864, he signed the muster-out-rolls of thirty-one of the original 
men of Company A whose term of service had expired. Capt. 
Lewis returned home, about the end of September, 1864, with the 
men of his company whose terms had also expired. 

1st Lieut. John Wainwright was commissioned captain of Com- 
pany F, to date from November 1, 1864, but was not mustered, as 
he then desired to be mustered out of service. 2d Lieut. Thomas 
Cosgriff was mustered out of service, March 28, 1865, on account 
of expiration of term of service. On February 28, 1865, Sergt. 
Lewis P. Malin was commissioned captain of the company and 
Sergt. Isaac J. Nichols as 1st lieutenant, both having been pro- 
moted to corporal and to sergeant after re-enlistment as veterans. 
They continued in their respective commands until mustered out 
with the Regiment, at Weldon, N. C, August 28, 1865. On May 
1, 1865, John E. Huntsman, 5th sergeant of the company, who had 
also re-enlisted as a veteran, was commissioned as 2d lieutenant, 
and continued to hold that position until the end of the service. 
These were well-deserved promotions of faithful and brave soldiers. 
Capt. Malin, having commanded the company at Fort Fisher, had 
received brevet promotion for gallantry in that action. The re- 
maining changes and promotions of the non-commissioned officers 



. ORGANIZATION OF COMPANY G. 51 

have been noted as far as ascertained upon the roster, it being found 
difficult to obtain the exact order in which they occurred, so as to 
present them in this place. Company F was also part of the force, 
with Company B, that received the impetuous attack of the rebel 
advance upon oiir position, at Grimball's Plantation, on June 10, 
1862, and vied with the other troops present in the stubborn re- 
sistance that resulted in maintaining their ground and repulsing the 
enemy with heavy loss. 

On October 25, 1862, Company F detailed a funeral escort, at 
U. S. General Hospital, Hilton Head, S. C, for Private J. Lind, of 
Company E, 47th P. V., and on October 28, 1862, one for a 
private of Company F, 47th P. V. On January 14, 1863, Com- 
pany F was detailed on special duty in engineer's department, at St. 
Helena, Special Order No. 1, to report to Lieut. Edwards, N. Y. 
Engineers, Superintendent of Construction, engaged in building a 
wharf at St. Helena, was relieved, February 23, 1863, and rejoined 
the Regiment, at Hilton Head, S. C. 

On February 9, 1864, part of Company F, under command of 
Capt. Lewis, embarked on the steamer Island City, and proceeded 
up the Nassau River, Fla., to furnish support to Maj. Pennypacker's 
advance against Camp Cooper. The company also made a raid 
into Georgia, from Woodstock Mills, to destroy the telegraph con- 
nection from Tallahassee, Fla., to Savannah, Ga., which was success- 
fully accomplished, after a march of nearly twenty miles, capturing 
a rebel mail rider by the way. The return march was accelerated 
by the approach of a part of the rebel Gen. Clinch's command. 
The company also made a reconnoissance up the St. Mary's River, 
in March, 1864, for the purpose of obtaining some mill fixtures for 
use in the department. 



Company G, Broomall Guards. 

Company G was recruited in Delaware Co., Pa., by Jesse L. 
Cummins, fourth son of George and Matilda Babb Cummins, who 
was born in the township of Upper Providence, Delaware Co., Pa , 
in 1840. His father dying while he was quite young placed him 
almost upon his own resources. He early exhibited great precision 
as a marksman, and a desire for the experiences of hunting and 
frontier life. With an elder brother, he went West during his 



52 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. 

minority. They together encountered, in a log house, on Eden 
, Prairie, one of the severest of Minnesota winters, cooking and 
baking for themselves. Jesse returned home before the commence- 
ment of the rebellion, and began to develop business qualifications, 
energy and order. Not having selected a trade, he was induced to 
enter the law office of Hon. John M. Broomall, with whom he 
studied law, at Media, Delaware Co., and had just entered upon 
the practice of his profession, at that place, when the rebellion 
occurred. At the first call of the President for troops, he enlisted 
as a private in Company I, 9th Regiment P. V., in the three 
months' service. The company was commanded by Capt. H. B. 
Edwards, of Chester, Pa., and served with Gen. E. Patterson's com- 
mand, in Maryland and Virginia. At the expiration of its term, 
he was discharged at Harrisburg, Pa., on July 29, 1861. Capt. 
Cummins was authorized, by Col. H. R. Guss, to recruit a company 
for his Regiment, on August 25, 1861. He commenced to recruit 
his company about September 1. The men enlisted were mostly 
from the vicinity of Media and Chester, in Delaware County. By 
October 15, 1861, an aggregate of eighty-three men being enlisted, 
they were mustered into the service of the United States, at Camp 
Wayne, West Chester, by Maj. G. Pennypacker, with the following 
named officers: captain, Jesse L. Cummins, Media, Del. Co.; 1st 
lieutenant, Caleb Hoopes, Upper Providence, Del. Co.; 2d lieute- 
nant, Joseph M. Borrell, Media, Del. Co.; 1st sergeant, Reuben H. 
Smith, M. D.; 2d sergeant, William H. Eves; 3d sergeant, John C. 
Morton; 4th sergeant, William M. CoUom; 5th sergeant, Thomas 
J. McMullen; 1st corporal. Gas way O. Yarnall; 2d corporal, Wil- 
liam N. Baker; 3d corporal, Thomas J. Wade; 4th corporal, 
William H. Cox; 5th corporal, Harry G. Yocum; 6th corporal, 
Israel Oat; 7th corporal, Simon Litzenberg; 8th corporal, Reece L. 
Weaver; musicians, Jonathan S. Farra and George W. Ross; team- 
ster, Enoch Dunlap. 

The company was filled to the maximum number about Novem- 
ber 16, and, from the time of its muster, occupied quarters in 
the barracks, on the north side of Camp Wayne, adjoining Com- 
pany F. Being the seventh organized, it became Company G in 
the 97th Regiment. The militia name adopted was Broomall 
Guards, in compliment to Hon. John M. Broomall Member of Con- 
gress from the 7th Congressional District, and a resident of the lo- 
cality from which the company was recruited. 



VACANCIES AND PROMOTIONS IN COMPANY G. 53 

On December 21, 1861, 5th Corp. Harry G. Yocuiii died, at 
Fortress Monroe, Va. On January 1, 1862, 3d Sergt. John C. 
Morton was transferred to Company I, at his own request. The 4th 
and 5th sergeants were advanced, 1st Corp. Yarnall appointed 5th 
sergeant and the other corporals promoted. Privates Albin Edwards 
and Eli B. Grubb were appointed 7th and 8th corporals. 

Capt. Cummins commanded his company until May 1, 1862, 
when, owing to failing health, from exposure and climatic influences, 
he resigned and was honorably discharged, at Edisto Island, S. C, 
Special Order No. 53, Department of the South, approved by Maj. 
Gen. D. Hunter, commanding the department. He then returned 
home and became somewhat improved in health, after a tour through 
the Western States. On June 17, 1863, he again enlisted as a 
private in Capt. Joseph Pratt's Company I, 29th Regiment Penn- 
sylvania Militia, called out for the emergency when Lee invaded 
Pennsylvania. He served with that company until August 1, 1863, 
when he was mustered out of service, with the company, at Harris- 
burg, Pa., by Capt. M. A. Kerr, 1st U. S. Arty., mustering officer. 

Capt. Cummins was also drafted by the district authorities about 
July 23, 1863. (In view of his having three times entered the ser- 
vice as a volunteer, how his name could have been placed upon the 
draft list is unaccountable.) Upon his application for exemption, 
on the ground of three voluntary enlistments, together with physical 
disability, a certificate of exemption was given him by Capt. E. L. 
Christman, provost marshal of the district. 

Being afflicted with pulmonary consumption, his health soon 
began to fail rapidly. He died, at Media, near his birth place, 
December 21, 1866. He had married after his discharge from the 
97th Regiment. His wife survived him but a short time, leaving a 
son, James R. Cummins, Jr., now under the care of his uncle, James 
R. Cummins, of Media. 

The vacancy in the command of Company G, for reasons satis- 
factory to the colonel commanding, was filled by the promotion of 
the senior 1st lieutenant of the Regiment, Louis Y. Evans, of Com- 
pany A, to captain, to rank from May 1, 1862. 

1st Corp. William N. Baker was discharged, May 25, 1862, and 
4th Corp. Isaac Oat died, August 10, 1862. 1st Sergt. Dr. Reuben 
H. Smith was promoted to hospital steward, September 4, 1862. 
2d Sergt. William H. Eves was promoted to 1st sergeant. The re- 
maining non-commissioned officers had been duly advanced. 1st 



54 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. 

corporal Thomas J. Wade became 5th sergeant. To fill the other 
vacancies, Privates John Doyle, Hillary Fox and Henry Hoofstiteler 
vi^ere appointed. The date and order of subsequent promotions of 
non-commissioned officers of the company could not be accurately 
ascertained. The record gives such as could be found. Capt. 
Evans continued in command until October 23, 1862, when he re- 
signed and was honorably discharged on account of ill health. 1st 
Lieut. Caleb Hoopes was then promoted to captain and was the 
commanding officer of the company until his discharge, at the ex- 
piration of his term of service, October 17, 1864. 

To fill the vacancy occasioned by the promotion of 1st Lieut. 
Hoopes, 4th Sergt. G. O. Yarnall was commissioned 1st lieutenant, 
October 23, 1862. 2d Lieut. Joseph M. Borrell thereupon tendered 
his resignation, which, being accepted at department head-quarters, 
on November 13, 1862, he was accordingly discharged. 1st Sergt. 
William H. Eves was then promoted to 2d lieutenant, but, owing to 
delay in receiving his commission, he was not mustered until July 
1, 1863. Lieuts. Yarnall and Eves served with the company until 
the expiration of the term of service, October 22, 1864, and were 
honorably discharged. Lieut. Yarnall held the position of post 
ordnance officer, at Fort Clinch, Fernandina, Fla., from October 7, 

1863, until April 23, 1864, and was acting ordnance officer of Ar- 
tillery Brigade, 10th A. C, from July 2 to October 14, 1864, when 
he was discharged on account of expiration of term of service. 

Lieut. Eves was wounded, near Petersburg, Va., July 10, 1864. 
He was frequently in command of his company while on active duty 
at the front, during the Virginia campaign, and was conspicuous for 
gallantry and bravery in action. Being in command of his company, 
at New Market Road, September 29, 1864, and at Darby Tovni, 
October 7, 1864, he received honorable mention in Gen. Butler's 
congratulatory order to the Army of the James, dated October 11, 

1864. He was also recommended for promotion to the Governor' 
of Pennsylvania. This recognition of his services was well de- 
served, as during the entire service he was regarded by all his 
commanding officers as a most faithful untiring officer, always 
found at his post of duty. 

The term of service of officers and men, originally enlisted in this 
company, expired about the middle of October, 1864, and they were 
accordingly discharged and returned home. Thirty-five had re- 
enlisted as veterans for the war, in accordance with orders already 



ORGANIZATION OF C03IPANY H. 55 

specified. Their names will be found upon the roster of the com- 
pany, designated " Vet." Corp. Cheyney T. Haines was promoted 
to sergeant major, September 18, 1864, and Corp. Washington W. 
James to commissary sergeant, April 1, 1865. 

After the discharge of the orginal officers of Company G, Sergt. 
Maj. Cheyney T. Haines was commissioned 1st lieutenant of the 
company, December 1, 1864. He was mortally wounded in action 
at Fort Fisher, N. C, January 15, 1865, and died on the same day, 
having been breveted captain for gallantry during the assault. 

Com. Sergt. Washington W. James was commissoned captain 
of Company G, May 1, 1865, and continued to be the commanding 
officer until the muster out of the Regiment, at Weldon, N. C, 
August 28, 1865. 1st Sergt. Isaiah Bird Avas commissioned 1st 
lieutenant. May 1, 1865, and Sergt. Jeremiah Yoast, 2d lieutenant, 
same date. These officers also served in their respective grades 
during the remainder of the service. 



Company H, Greble Guards. 

About the middle of August, 1861, Charles Mcllvaine, of 
Springton, near Waynesburg, Chester Co., Pa., oifered to raise a 
company of volunteers for acceptance by the War Department. 
This offer was accepted by the Secretary of War, in the following 
letter, dated: 

War Department, August 30, 1861. 
Capt. Charles McIlvaine, Brandy wine Manor, Chester Co., Pa. 

Sir: The company of infantry, one hundred and one men, which 
you offer, is accepted for three years, or during the war provided 
you have it ready for marching orders in thirty days. 

This acceptance is with the distinct understanding that this 
Department will revoke the commissions of all officers who may 
be found incompetent for the proper discharge of their duties. 

Your men will be mustered into the service of the United 
States, in accordance with General Orders Nos. 58 and 61, from 
this Department. You are at liberty to attach the company to any 
of the regiments now forming in Pennsylvania, with the consent of 
the colonel commanding. 

Very respectfully, Thomas A. Scott, 

Assistant Secretary of War. 



56 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH EEGIMENT. 

Capt. Mcllvaine was the only surviving son of Hon. Abraham 
Robinson Mcllvaine, a prominent citizen of Chester Co., who was 
elected to represent the 7th Congressional District, then composed 
of Chester Co., Pa., and took his seat at the commencement of the 
Twenty-eighth Congress, being afterwards re-elected for three sue 
cessive Congresses. He was a member of the House of Representa- 
tives of Pennsylvania, in 1836 and 1837, and declined a nomination 
to the State Senate, in 1838, his private affairs demanding his entire 
attention. In 1840, he was the representative of his district in the 
Electoral College of Pennsylvania, casting his vote for the success- 
ful candidates for the Presidency and Vice-Presidency. In June, 
1840, he was nominated for a vacancy in the "State Legislature, 
but the Speaker of the House withholding the order, the special 
election was not held. 

Mr. Mcllvaine entered Congress as a member of the old Whig 
party, an ardent supporter of the policy of a protective tariff, and 
stood among the earliest and most constant opponents of the an- 
nexation of Texas, taking the position " that annexation would be 
unconstitutional, injurious to the interests of the free States, as it 
tended to extend and perpetuate slavery and to involve the country 
in war." He subsequently took strong ground in opposition to 
the prosecution of the aggressive war against Mexico, and in a 
speech delivered in the House of Representatives, on June 18, 1846, 
ably presented the aggressive attitude of the Administration in in- 
volving the country in war without authority of law and in violar 
tion of the Constitution. The constituents of Mr. Mcllvaine fully 
sustained his course in Congress in both public and private expres- 
sions.* 

In 1848, and for several successive years, he was President of the 
Agricultural Society of Chester and Delaware Counties, and for 
many years was Vice-President of the Pennsylvania State Agricul- 
tural Society. He possessed the personal esteem of men of all 
parties, the excellence of his private character being recognized by 
all within reach of its influence. He died August 22, 1863, aged 
about seventy years.f 

* History of Congress, Biographical and Political, by Henry Q. Wheeler, 
1848. 

fTbis family of Mcllvaine is descended from Allan's Mcllvaine, who, in 1520, 
secured from Queen Mary the grant of lands in Upper and Nether Grimmet, in 
Ayr, Scotland. He was the first Laird of Grimmet. Two of his sons fell in 



J 



ORGANIZATION OF COMPANY H. 57 

Charles Mcllvaine was born at Springton farm, one of the original 
Penn manors, near Waynesburg, Chester Co., Pa., May 31, 1840. 
His early education was received, under the guidance of his father 
and a private instructor, at home. At the age of ten, he entered 
the Northwest Grammar School, in Philadelphia, and passed 
through its course, before attaining the age of twelve, at a sacrifice 
of health which required a suspension of his studies. Having 
access to his father's library, and inheriting one from his grand- 
father, with- a strong desire to acquire knowledge, he had oppor- 
tunity for pursuing earnestly his studies at home. In this he was 
encouraged by his parents, whose liberality enabled him to add quite 
extensively to his library. At the age of eighteen, he entered an 
engineer corps, then making the survey for the Brandywine and 
Waynesburg Railroad, as chainman. After one year of service in 
that capacity, he was promoted to the position of division engineer 
and placed in charge of the upper division of the above-named road, 
in which service he was engaged when the rebellion occurred. 
TFpon the acceptance, by the Secretary of War, of his offer to raise 
a company for the service, he commenced to recruit his company, 
after having arranged with Col. Guss to attach it to the 97th 
Regiment. Bills were struck off and posted all over the country 
about Springton, Waynesburg and villages along the Welsh Moun- 
tain and Conestoga Valley, and meetings called at the places 
designated. As fast as recruits were obtained, they were taken to 
Camp Wayne, at West Chester, and mustered into the service, by 
Maj. G. Pennypacker. The men occupied quarters on the south 
side of the camp. After quite a number of recruits had been ob- 
tained by Capt. Mcllvaine, it was decided to unite his men with 
those enlisted by David Jones, of West Chester, who had served as 
1st lieutenant of Company F, 9th Regiment, in the three months' 
service, who had also been authorized by Col. Guss to recruit for 
the Regiment; thus aggregating eighty- three officers and men, the 
number necessary for the organization of the eighth company, of 
which Charles Mcllvaine was mustered as captain, on October 17, 
1861, and David Jones as 1st lieutenant; the understanding being 



the battle of Fanshawe, and two of his grandchildren were in the following of 
the Earl of Casselis, at Lady Care, in 1601. The family were known as Cove- 
nanters, and suffered terribly in the persecution of the Scotch Presbyterians, by 
the King's troops, which caused their emigration to Ireland, where they re- 
mained about. one generation. 



58 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH KEGIMENT. 

had that Lieut. Jones was to be regimental quarter-master. Thomas 
S. Taylor, of West Chester, was mustered as 2d lieutenant. 

The company was called the Greble Guards, in honor of the brave 
officer of that name who fell at Big Bethel. The non-commissioned 
officers were: 1st sergeant, Elwood P. Baldwin; 2d sergeant, Jeffer- 
son T. Massey; 3d sergeant, George A. Lemaistre; 4th sergeant, 
Joseph H. Walton; 5th sergeant, William Garver; 1st corporal, 
Thomas John; 2d corporal, John A. RusseU; 3d corporal, George 
W. Burns; 4th corporal, Robert S. Keene, Jr.; 5th corporal, George 
H. Durnall; 6th corporal, Thomas J. Henderson; 7th corporal, 
William F. Smith; 8th corporal, Abner Evans. 

The company did not receive arms at Camp Wayne, but was 
drilled in the step, march, etc., by its officers, with the same dili- 
gence and attention given by officers of the other companies. 

On the 29th of October, 1861, Capt Mcllvaine was notified, by 
Hon. Simon Cameron, Secretary of War, of his appointment, by the 
President of the United States, as captain in the 19th Infantry, U. 
S. A., to rank from that date, with orders, in case of his acceptance 
of the appointment, to report in person for orders, to the colonel 
of that regiment, at Indianapolis, Ind. 

In consideration of his promise to the men enrolled by him, to 
remain in the service with them, his acceptance of this appoint- 
ment was qualified by a request to be permitted to remain in the 
volunteer service, during the term of his enlistment, which being 
granted by the Secretary of War, he continued in command of his 
company. 

On October 31, 1861, 1st Lieut. David Jones was mustered, as 
regimental quarter-master, by Lieut. Col. C. F. Rufi", U. S. commis- 
sary of muster. 2d Lieut. Thomas S. Taylor was promoted to the 
vacancy, November 5, and 1st Sergt. Elwood P. Baldwin was pro- 
moted to 2d lieutenant, to which grade both were mustered by Maj. 
G. Pennypacker, on that date. 2d Sergt. Jefferson T. Massey was 
then appointed 1st sergeant. 3d Sergt. Lemaistre was promoted to 
sergeant-major of the Regiment, and transferred to the non-com- 
missioned staff. Corps. John and Russell were promoted to ser- 
geants, and Privates James McConnell and Thomas W. Durnall to 
7th and 8th corporals. 

On the arrival, at Fernandina, Fla., March 5, 1862, Company 
H, under command of Capt. Mcllvaine, established the first picket 
line outside the town, and came upon a masked battery intended 



r' 



VACANCIES AND PROMOTIONS IN COMPANY H. 59 

for protection of the retreating rebels toward Harrison's Landing, 
who, in their haste, had left two guns in position, which were 
brought in by the company. At Jacksonville, the company took 
part in the arduous picket duty and night skirmishing performed 
by the 97th Regiment. Soon after entering upon active service, 
the regulation hat, scales, etc., were mostly discarded by the other 
companies, on account of their inconvenience and imposing unne- 
cessary labor upon the men. By hard work, Capt. Mcllvaine had 
required his men to retain them, and, from the company fund, pro- 
vided the men with gloves and other articles that added to their 
personal appearance, the company being favorably noticed, in these 
respects, by Gen. Wright, the brigade commander, at a grand 
review, at Hilton Head, S. C, by Gen. Hunter. Upon making 
his head-quarters at Seabrook, in North Edisto, Gen. Wright 
selected Company H as guard at head-quarters, April 25, 1862, 
and retained it upon that duty until the march toward James 
Island. The company then formed part of the rear guard, and was 
a part of the force left to guard the passage of a creek on James 
Island, about five miles south of Legareeville, S. C. 

On April 29, 1862, 1st Lieut. Thomas S. Taylor resigned, on 
account of ill health, and was honorably discharged. 2d Lieut. 
Elwood P. Baldwin was then promoted to 1st lieutenant and Sergt. 
Maj. George A. Lemaistre was promoted to 2d lieutenant of the 
company. 

On November 5, 1862, 1st Lieut. Elwood P. Baldwin resigned, on 
account of failing health, and was honorably discharged. He sub- 
sequently recovered and re-enlisted as a private in this company, as 
will appear in the record. There was no immediate promotion to 
fill the vacancy. 

On April 29, 1863, while serving upon the staff of Gen. Terry, 
Capt. Mcllvaine made application for a leave of absence for twenty 
days, on account of a severe bronchial affection. This application 
was forwarded to the department head-quarters, by Gen. A. H. 
Terry, with the following endorsement: 

Hu. QuAR. U. S. Forces, Hilton Head, S. C, xlpril 28, 1863. 

Capt. Mcllvaine is a most excellent and faithful officer, and fully 
deserving of any indulgence which the interest of the service will 
permit. Although in feeble health, suffering from bronchial disease, 
he has remained on duty at the sacrifice of health and comfort, 



60 HISTORY OP THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. 

for the purpose of accompanying his regiment in the late movement 
on Charleston. I respectfully commend his application to the favor- 
able consideration of the major general commanding. 

[Signed] • A. H. Terry, 

Brig. Gen. Comdg. Post. 

The leave of absence being approved at department head-quarters, 
Capt. Mcllvaine went north and returned at its expiration. 

About June 12, 1863, having previously tendered his resignation, 
on account of continued ill health, he received the following dis- 
charge : 

Hd. Qrs. Dept. South, Hilton Head, S. C, June 10, 1863. 
Special Order, No. 327. 

Par VIII * * * # » « 

Capt. Charles Mcllvaine, 97th Pa. Vols., having tendered his 
resignation, on the ground of iU health, and having been approved 
by the medical director, Department South, the same is hereby ac- 
cepted, -to take effect this date. 

Capt. Mcllvaine is accordingly honorably discharged the mihtary 
service of the United States. 

By command of Maj. Gen. D. Hunter: 

[Signed] Israel B,. Sealy, 

1st Lieut. 47th N. Y. Vols, A. A. A. Gen. 

He also resigned the captaincy in the 19th Infantry, U. S. A., 
which had been held open for his acceptance, after discharge from 
the volunteer service. 

Before the notice of discharge was received, Capt. Mcllvaine was 
tendered the appointment of a majority in the 1st South Carolina 
Volunteers, by Lieut. Col. M. S. Littlefield, commanding 1st South 
Carolina Volunteers, which appointment he decided to accept. He 
received orders from Gen. Hunter, detailing him for duty with the 
1st South Carolina Volunteers, with directions to report to Col. 
Littlefield, at Morris Island, to recruit for that regiment. Upon 
the acceptance of his resignation, however, he determined to return 
north for the benefit of his failing health. The vacancy in Com- 
pany H, caused by the resignation of Capt. Mcllvaine, was filled 
by the promotion of 2d Lieut. George A. Lemaistre to captain, to 
rank from June 11, 1863. Owing to active operations in the de- 



VACANCIES AND PROMOTIONS IN COMPANY H. 61 

partment and upon Morris Island, and the invasion of Pennsyl- 
vania, by Gen. Lee, there was considerable delay in commissions 
being received from that State. Capt. Lemaistre w^as, therefore, 
prevented from muster. He continued to command the company as 
2d heutenant. At Hilton Head, S. C, April 13, 1863, Company 
H, under command of 2d Lieut. George A. Lemaistre, vi^as detailed 
for provost guard duty, vrith orders to report to Capt. Z. H. Robin- 
son, 9th Maine Volunteers, provost marshal. The company moved 
its quarters w^ithin the provost guard camp, being dropped for the 
time from the regimental morning reports. The company remained 
upon that duty until released by orders, the date of which has not 
been retained. 

At Fernandina, Fla., the company was stationed, under the com- 
mand of Capt. Lemaistre, at Old Town, where it remained upon 
duty while at that post. In the action at Green Plains, Bermuda 
Hundred, Va., on May 20, 1864, Capt. Lemaistre was severely 
wounded in the arm and disabled from further service, and, being 
absent from his command on account of wounds, he was not 
mustered as captain. He was honorably discharged, September 20, 
1864, at the expiration of his term of service. 

Thirty-two men of the company had re-enlisted as veterans for 
the war and were re-mustered, by Lieut. M. V. B. Richards, with 
two others of the Regiment. The subsequent promotions were 
made from those who re-enlisted. On May 1, 1864, Sergt. George 
H. DurnaU was promoted to 1st lieutenant of the company and, on 
May 10, Sergt. Lewis H. Watkin was promoted to 2d lieutenant. 
The commissions of these officers had just reached the Regiment 
when it went into action, at Green Plains, Va., previous to their 
being mustered. Both were kiUed in the memorable charge upon 
Gen. Pickett's division, which swept down so many of the bravest 
and best of the Regiment. DurnaU and Watkin had been selected 
for promotion in recognition of faithful service. They were young 
men of much promise, beloved by aU the Regiment. Their bodies 
were never recovered, as they feU upon a portion of the field of 
which the enemy retained possession. The next promotions in the 
company were those of Sergt. Theodore M. Smedley to 1st lieute- 
nant, August 8, 1864, and Sergt. Phares P. Brown to 2d heute- 
nant, September 21, 1864. On April 5, 1865, 1st Lieut. Smedley 
was promoted to captain, to rank from December 5, 1864, and 2d 
Lieut. Brown to 1st lieutenant, to rank from same date. Sergt. 



62 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. 

Isaac L. Button was promoted, May 1, 1865, to 2d lieutenant. 
These officers held their respective positions during the remainder 
of the service, and were mustered out with the Regiment, August 
28, 1865. Capt. Smedley was wounded in the charge upon Fort 
Fisher, N. C, January 15, 1865, and was appointed brevet captain, 
in orders, for gallantry in command of his company during the 
action. 



Company I, Brooke Guards. 

This company was recruited by George W. Hawkins, of Dela- 
ware Co., Pa., assisted by Sketchly and Annesley N. Morton, sons 
of Judge Sketchly Morton, of Delaware Co., whose great grand 
father, Hon. John Morton, was a signer of the Declaration of Inde^ 
pendence. 

Capt. Hawkins was born at Chester, Delaware Co., Pa., Novem. 
ber 18, 1827. As a biographical sketch of him will appear in an 
other part of this wor^k, it is not necessary to give his record here, 
In response to the call of President Lincoln, for seventy-five thoU' 
sand volunteers, he enlisted as a private in the Washington Grays 
of Philadelphia, which became Company A in the 17th Regiment 
Pennsylvania Volunteers, commanded by Col. Francis E. Patterson 
being mustered into the service of the United States, April 25, 1861 
This regiment served with Gen. Robert Patterson's command, in 
Maryland and Virginia, during the three months' term, and was 
discharged at Harrisburg, Pa., August 2, 1861. 

Soon after his return to Delaware County, his zeal for the national 
cause induced him to return to the service, and having ascertained 
that a regiment was being raised by Col. Guss, from the district 
composed of Chester and Delaware Counties, he obtained authority 
from that officer, and in co-operation with the Mortons, commenced 
to recruit a company. Every inducement being afforded by Col. 
Guss to make the company a success, recruiting commenced about 
September 1, 1861, but owing to the number of enlistments already 
made from the district, for the other companies of the 97th and 
other regiments, the number increased but slowly. The first muster 
for the company was on the 16th of September, at Camp Wayne, 
by Maj. G. Pennypacker, about twenty-five recruits being mustered. 
They then went into quarters on the south side of Camp Wayne, 



ORGANIZATION OF COMPANY t 63 

in charge of the oiRcers engaged in recruiting for the company, 
one of whom remained at the camp to drill and exercise the 
men while the others were looking up additional recruits. On Sep- 
tember 21 and October 9, 15, 17, and 19, additional musters were 
made, aggregating," on the latter date, fifty-three men, when 
Sketchly Morton, Jr., was mustered as 1st lieutenant of the com- 
pany, which was now designated Company I, 97th Pennsylvania 
Volunteers. The militia name adopted was the Brooke Guards, in 
compliment to Hon. H. Jones Brooke, State Senator for Chester 
and Delaware Counties, and a resident of Media, Delaware County, 
Pa. The men of this company were mostly from Delaware County. 
Additional musters were made for the company on October 24, 
November 7, 8, 10 and 15. It yet lacked a sufficient number 
for the muster of its full complement of officers. Before leaving 
Camp Wayne, on November 16, Annesley N. Morton was mus- 
tered as 2d lieutenant of the company. 

The original officers, and non-commissioned officers of Company 
1 were as follows: captain, George W. Hawkins; 1st lieutenant, 
Sketchly Morton, Jr., and 2d lieutenant, Annesley N. Morton, of 
Morton, Delaware Co., Pa.; 1st sergeant, James Williams; 2d ser- 
geant, John Knapp; 3d sergeant, Thomas N. Watson; 4th sergeant, 
John C. Morton; 5th sergeant, George W. Duffee; 1st corporal, 
William R. Wood; 2d corporal, WiUiam P. Hayman; 3d corporal, 
John L. Morton; 4th corporal, Robert Trowland; 5th corporal, 
Clayton C. Elbertson; 6th corporal, Thomas Creigan; 7th corporal, 
William Ottowell; 8th corporal, vacant. 

Capt. Hawkins could not be mustered until the company had an 
aggregate of eighty-three men. He Avas subsequently mustered, by 
order ol Maj. Gen. D. Hunter, commanding Department of the 
South, April 19, 1862, to rank from October 29, 1861. While 
at Camp Wayne, the company received such instructions in drill 
and discipline as their limited time afforded, Capt. Hawkins and 
his lieutenants being indefatigable in their efforts to bring the com- 
pany to a degree of proficiency that should not leave it very far 
behind those companies that had longer opportunity for prepara- 
tions. The company was uniformed but not armed at Camp Wayne. 

When the Regiment reached Fortress Monroe, Va., 1st Lieut. 
Sketchly Morton, Jr., returned to the district for the purpose of ob- 
taining recruits to fill the company. There was, however, but little 
success realized after the departure of the Regiment. Five recruits 



64 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REaiMENT. 

were sent forward in December, 1861; one in January; one in 
February; one in March, and two in April, 1862. 

In consequence of long-continued close confinement on shipboard, 
during the movements for the reduction of Fort Pulaski, January, 
February and March, 1862, the health of many officers and men 
was much impaired. Of these, 2d Lieut. A. N. Morton sufiered 
seriously, necessitating his resignation, and return to a northern 
climate. He was, therefore, honorably discharged, at Hilton Head, 
S. C, April 16, 1862, and returned home. 

Upon the resignation of Lieut. Morton, 1st Sergt. James Wil- 
liams was promoted to 2d lieutenant, April 16, 1862; he resigned 
and was honorably discharged, September 8, 1862. John Knapp, 
who had previously been promoted to 1st sergeant, was then pro- 
moted to 2d lieutenant, to rank from September 10, 1862. The 
next vacancy in the company officers was caused by the death of 
1st Lieut. Sketchly Morton, Jr., of yellow fever, at Hilton Head, 
S. C, November 12, 1862. An account of this sad event wiU be 
given in another part of this history. This was the first death of 
an officer of the Regiment, and caused a deep-felt regret for the 
loss of one so young, so bright and earnest in all his efforts, and 
endeared, by his gentle and genial nature, to the entire circle of his 
brother officers. 

There was no immediate promotion to fill this vacancy, or those 
of the non-commissioned officers, on account of the absence of 
Capt. G. W. Hawkins on recruiting service. The record of these 
could only be presented in the record roU, owing to the absence of 
any reliable data in regard to the time and order of promotions. 
2d Lieut. John Knapp resigned, and was honorably discharged, at 
Fernandina, Fla., February 5, 1864. About this time, thirty-seven 
of the company, with others of the Regiment, re-enlisted as vete- 
rans and received a furlough of thirty days. The vacancies in the 
company officers were now filled by the promotions of 1st Sergt. 
George W. Duffee to 2d lieutenant, to rank from February 5, 1864, 
and on February 6, was promoted to 1st lieutenant; 2d Sergt. W. 
H. H. Gibson was promoted to 2d lieutenant, to rank from 
February 6, 1864, both being of the number who had re-enlisted. 

Capt. Hawkins continued in command of his company until the 
expiration of his term of service, being mortally wounded in action, 
at Darby Town, October 27, 1864, and died on the 28th. As the 
term of service of the men, enlisted in 1861, expired in October and 



ORGANIZATION OF COMPANY K. 65 

November, 1864, they were accordingly mustered out and returned 
to their homes. On December 2, 1864, 1st Lieut. George "W. 
Duffle was commissioned as captain of the company, 2d Lieut. 
W. H. H. Gibson was promoted to 1st lieutenant and 1st Sergt. 
George M. Middleton was promoted to 2d lieutenant. These 
officers served with the company during the remainder of the war, 
and were mustered out with the company and Regiment, at Wel- 
don, N. C, August 28, 1865. 

Company I was detailed, with Company A, to occupy Paris 
Island, S. C, February 17, 186r3, and moved over from Hilton 
Head, where the Regiment was then stationed, the detachment 
being under the command of Capt. F. M. Guss, of Company A. 
These two companies were relieved and rejoined the Regiment, at 
Hilton Head, S. C, March 26, 1863. For an account of this ser- 
vice, see narrative of the Regiment. 



Company K, Wayne Guards. 

The tenth company of the Regiment was organized by Capt. 
William Wayne, of Paoli, Chester Co., Pa., a descendant of the 
renowned Maj. Gen. Anthony Wayne, the hero of Stony Point, 
one of the most daring and successful officers of the Revolutionary 
War. 

Capt. Wayne, being almost the only remaining descendant of the 
family, succeeded to the title and possession of the family estate 
and mansion that had been the residence of Gen. Wayne, situated 
near the memorable spot of the Paoli massacre. Possessed of 
ample competency and surrounded by the comforts of a most at- 
tractive home, with wife and young children just at an age to most 
require the presence of the husband and the father's care, Capt. 
Wayne, true to the impulses of his patriotic ancestry and to his 
own sense of duty, resigned all these in response to the call of his 
country for defenders in her hour of peril, trusting all to the care 
of Him who has promised to be a shelter unto the widow and the 
fatherless. 

Authority to recruit a company for the Regiment was given by 
Col. Guss to Capt. Wayne, about September 1, 1861, when he im- 
mediately entered actively upon the work of recruiting. Various 
localities were visited in company with other officers. Success was 
5 



66 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. 

necessarily limited, owing to the ground having already been very 
much gone over and many enlistments made for other companies 
and regiments; but, through perseverance in the effort, a few men 
were obtained almost every day. These were taken into quarters 
in Camp Wayne about September 20, and occupied the barracks 
adjoining Company I, on the south side of the camp. The first 
muster for the company was on September 28, when five men were 
mustered into service by Maj. G. Pennypacker; four more were 
mustered on September 30. During October, thirty-five additional 
were mustered. By November 7, the number reached fifty-three, 
an aggregate sufficient for the muster of one lieutenant. Samuel 
V. Black, one of the first five enlisted, was then mustered as 2d 
lieutenant of the company, and took command of the recruits in 
camp. Three more men were mustered while the Eegiment re- 
mained at Camp Wayne. For the position of 1st lieutenant, John 
J. Barber, of West Chester, was strongly recommended by his 
friends. It was also understood that he was well qualified for the 
duties of an officer and could secure several recruits. Capt. Wayne 
was induced to consent to his appointment in the hope of realizing 
a more rapid accession of recruits. In this, however, he was disap- 
pointed, for, notwithstanding Mr. Barber seemed to be quite earnest 
in his efforts, he did not succeed in adding to the number of enlist- 
ments. 

At the time of leaving Camp Wayne, fifty-six men had been 
obtained for the company, being under the number requisite for 
the muster of captain and 1st lieutenant. This was necessarily de- 
ferred until an aggregate of eighty-three men could be secured. 
Those officers were subsequently mustered at Hilton Head, S. C, 
about April 19, 1862, by order of Maj. Gen. Hunter, to rank from 
October 29, 1861. The militia name adopted by the company was 
the Wayne Guards. The officers designated before leaving Camp 
Wayne were: captain, William Wayne, of PaoH, Chester Co., Pa.; 
1st lieutenant, John J. Barber, of West Chester, Pa.; 2d lieute- 
nant, Samuel V. Black, of Chester Co., Pa.; 1st sergeant, Levi L. 
March; 2d sergeant, James M. Griffith; 3d sergeant, David P. 
Thomas; 4th sergeant, William S. Underwood; 5th sergeant, R. 
Powell Fithian, appointed December 3, 1861; 1st corporal, Mariott 
Brosius; 2d corporal, Channing Brinton; 3d corporal, William E. 
Davis; 4th corporal, David S. Christman; 5th corporal, Alfred J. 
Hartman; 6th corporal, William Taylor; 7th corporal, Barnet K. 



VACANCIES AND PROMOTIONS IN COMPANY K. 67 

Rapp; 8th corporal, James W. Phillips; musicians, John H. Kauff- 
man and George W. Smith; wagoner, Peter J. Wonderly. The 
order announcing these appointments was issued January 29, 1862. 
Of the men originally enlisted in this company, and who subse- 
quently joined as volunteer recruits, several had served in the three 
months' campaign, mostly in the 9 th Regiment Pennsylvania Vo- 
lunteers. They were all reliable and efficient soldiers, many of the 
company being most estimable young men of the best families in 
Chester County. The drill and discipline attained at Camp Wayne 
were more than proportionate to the limited opportunity afforded, 
it being the last company organized. Equipment of the men .in 
clothing, etc., was furnished as fast as enlisted, but no arms were 
issued to the company until its arrival at Washington. Lieut. 
Barber had remained in West Chester, when the Regiment left 
Camp Wayne, in order to obtain recruits. At Fortress Monroe, 
Va., Sergt. R. P. Fithian was detailed upon recruiting service and 
returned to West Chester with 1st Lieut. Thomas Taylor. Ten 
recruits were received by the company in December, 1861; six in 
January, 1862; nine in February; one in March; one in April and 
another, November 18, 1862. 

Capt. Wayne commanded his company through the operations of 
1862; the expedition to Warsaw Sound, Ga.; Fort Clinch, Fernan- 
dina and Jacksonville, Fla.; Edisto, John and James Islands, S. C, 
and during part of the October campaign of that year. At Hilton 
Head, S. C., on September 10, 1862, he was detailed on recruit- 
ing service and returned home. His health having suffered mate- 
rially from exposure and climatic influences, and being unable to 
return to duty, he tendered his resignation and received an honor- 
able discharge from the service, by order of the Secretary of War, 
Special Order No. 24, dated January 19, 1863. There, was no 
immediate promotion to fill the vacancy. The Regiment being 
then encamped at St. Helena Island, relieved of active duty for 
sanitary considerations, recommendation for promotion was delayed 
as long as possible in order for better observation to determine the 
best interests of the company under the circumstances. 1st Lieut. 
Barber tendered his resignation about March 1, which, being 
accepted, he was honorably discharged, March 9, 1863. 2d Lieut. 
Samuel V. Black was then recommended for promotion to 1st lieu- 
tenant and 1st Sergt. Levi L. March for 2d lieutenant, their com- 
missions being dated May 3, 1863. 2d Sergt. James M. Griffith was 



68 HISTORT OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. 

then promoted to 1st sergeant. The three other sergeants were also 
promoted. On May 6, 1863, 1st Corp. Mariott Brosius was pro- 
moted to 5th sergeant, the remaining corporals being also promoted. 
Private John W. Thompson was promoted to corporal. 2d Sergt. 
David P. Thomas was discharged for disability, at Hilton Head, 
S. C, October 14, 1862. 3d Sergt. Underwood was promoted to 
2d sergeant. The other sergeants were also promoted and Corp. 
Channing Brinton was designated as 5th sergeant. The dates of 
subsequent promotions to corporals not being accurately obtained, 
it is not known who was next appointed to that rank. 1st Lieut. 
Samuel V. Black was promoted to captain, to rank from May 1, 
1864; 2d Lieut. Levi L. March to 1st lieutenant, from same date, 
and 1st Sergt. James M. Griffith was recommended for promotion 
to 2d lieutenant, but before the application for these commissions 
could be forwarded the latter was mortally wounded, in action, 
May 20, at Green Plains, Va., and died of his wounds on June 3, 
1864. 2d Sergt. William S. Underwood was promoted to 1st ser- 
geant, to rank from May 1, and, upon the death of Lieut. Griffith, 
he was recommended for promotion to 2d lieutenant, to rank from 
May 1, 1864. He was not mustered as 2d lieutenant on account of 
delay in receiving his commission. On July 30, 1st Lieut. Levi L. 
March was mortally wounded, in action, at the battle of the Mine, 
and died of his wounds, after the amputation of an arm and leg, 
August 13, 1864. 2d Lieut. Underwood was then promoted to 1st 
lieutenant, and was mustered upon his second commission only, to 
rank from December 2, 1864. There was no immediate promotion 
to 2d lieutenant. Capt. Black had commanded the company in all 
the engagements of the James River operations until captured, in 
action, at Deep Bottom, Va., August 16, 1864. He remained a 
prisoner until paroled in April, 1865, rejoined the company, April 
10, at Raleigh, N. C, and was honorably discharged, May 4, 1865, 
to date January 29, 1865, expiration of term. 

After the capture of Capt. Black, the command of the company 
devolved upon 1st Lieut. Underwood, who led it in the remaining 
engagements before Richmond and in the assault upon Fort Fisher, 
and was of the number who received recommendation for promotion 
for gallantry, in orders from the Secretary of War. He was pro- 
moted to captain, February 28, 1865, and continued commanding 
officer of the company until mustered out, August 28, 1865. Wil- 
liam M. Sullivan, who had been promoted to 1st sergeant upon the 



Organization of Guss Fencibles Cornet Band. 69 

promotion of 1st Sergt. Underwood to 2d lieutenant, was promoted 
to 1st lieutenant, to rank from February 28, 1865, and Sergt. Mariott 
Brosius, who had been severely wounded, in action. May 20, 1864, 
at Green Plains, Va., and had since been absent in United States 
hospital, was promoted to 2d lieutenant. Being unable to perform 
active duty, he was discharged from the service, January 2, 1865, 
before receiving his commission, and not feeling able to resume 
duty, therefore declined to be mustered. 1st Sergt. J. W. Thomp- 
son was subsequently promoted to 2d lieutenant and mustered on 
February 1, 1865. Sergt. J. R. Montgomery was then promoted to 
1st sergeant. 

The re-enlistment of veterans in this company amounted to thirty- 
seven. Those of the original number and recruits who did not re- 
enlist were discharged, at the expiration of their term of service, 
and returned to their homes in October and November, 1864. 



Guss Fencibles Cornet Band. 

On October 24, 1861, the regimental band, under the leadership 
of John H. Taylor, of West Chester, assisted by George Ellinger, 
of Lancaster City, numbering twenty-two picked musicians, was 
mustered into service, for three years, as the Guss Fencibles Cornet 
Band. A part of these men had been previously mustered in Com- 
pany H, during the organization of that company. Upon being 
transferred to the band, it was requisite for them to be re-mustered. 
After a brief period of practice together, a degree oi proficiency was 

manifested that soon rendered the camp more attractive from the 
influence of enlivening strains of music. An increased interest was 
also added to guard mounting and dress parade, giving the camp 
more of the order of a military post or garrison, where every duty 
was duly observed in accordance with army regulations. 

During the time the band remained with the Regiment it continued 
a feature of interest that often gave relief to the monotony of duty, 
discoursing melody during the hours of evening or intervals of camp 
life, when no other influence was available upon which the thoughts 
might rest or be held with the power by which the floating notes 
of some familiar air, borne upon the evening breeze, recalling dear 
and familiar scenes, rendered them still more dear. While the joys 
of the far-off home and all its endearing and holy influences were 



70 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. 

thus brought more near, inspiring also the hope of the good time 
to come when we might again listen to the dear strains of " Home, 
sweet home," and " When this cruel war is over." 

The band was discharged, at Hilton Head, S. C, August 31, 
1862, in accordance with General Orders No. 91, from the War De- 
partment, at Washington. A few of the men joined as musicians 
to fill vacancies in the companies, but most of them returned home. 
Some re-entered the service. All such as were ascertained are noted 
in the roster. 



Independent Company. 

Toward the end of 1864, Col. Pennypacker received notice, from 
the War Department, that an independent company had been as- 
signed to his Regiment, from Pennsylvania. The company, how- 
ever, never joined the Regiment nor became identified with its 
services. The only knowledge of its existence had by any of 
the officers of the Regiment was subsequently through having offi- 
cial communications directed to the Independent Company, 97th 
Regiment P. V., and through unofficial reports, received by Col. 
Wainwright, that said company had been assigned to duty in Balti- 
more. Prof Bates, in his State History, gives the roster of the 
officers and men of the company as a part of the organization of 
the 97th Regiment P. V. [See Bates' History, Vol. III.] 



CAMP WAYNE, WEST CHESTER. 71 




CHAPTER II. 

Camp Wayne, West Chester; Camp Jones Brooke, Washington; 
Camp Hamilton, Fortress Monroe, October to December, 1861. 

ECRUITING proceeded with all possible diligence, 
at Camp Wayne, during September, and every effort 
was being made to complete the organization of the 
Regiment within the time allotted. About eight 
hundred men had been enlisted and the number was 
being daily increased, less rapidly, however, than was 
desirable, primarily owing to the check put upon 
the spontaneous oflfer of sevices pouring in from all 
parts of the north, followed quickly by the intro- 
duction of a system of bounties deemed essential by the government 
to promote enlistments, yet which in reality became a serious check 
thereto, as it became evident that increased bounties were to be re- 
sorted to in proportion to increased demand for additional troops. 
Men now waited to enlist under later calls, when the bounty should 
reach its highest limit, it becoming evident that whatever legislation 
was probable in regard to bounties would be entirely prospective — 
benefiting future enlistments — rather than general, and retroactive 
in a spirit of just appreciation of those most deserving of bounty, 
who earliest tendered their service to their country freely without 
waiting for such stimulus to awaken their patriotism. 

An act of the extra session of the State Legislature had provided 
for the relief of families of volunteers from the State. The question 
whether such relief would be extended to the families of the men 
enlisted in regiments accepted directly by the War Department, 
being now raised, also tended to materially retard enlistments in the 
97th Regiment. In order to obtain the views of the members of the 
State Legislature, from the district, upon this point, the following 
letter was authorized to be addressed to the members of the Senate 
and House of Representatives from Chester and Delaware Counties: 



72 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. [September, 

West Chester, Pa., September 4, 1861. 
Hon. Jacob S. Serrill, State Senator, Hons. Caleb Peirce, Wil- 
liam T. Shafer, Isaac Acker and Chalkley Harvey, Members 
of the House of Representatives, Harrisburg, Pa. 
Dear Sirs: It is desired to have the opinion of members of the 
late Legislature upon the bill, passed at the extra session, relative 
to the relief of families of volunteers enlisted in the war for the 
defence of the Union. Was it designed that companies or regi- 
ments enlisted within the State, which have been accepted by the 
War Department, as independent companies or regiments, should 
be excluded from the benefit of the provisions of the billl Your 
views will greatly interest many of your fellow citizens. 

Very truly, yours, Isaiah Price. 

It is not remembered whether replies were received from all the 
gentlemen addressed. The two following are found among the 
papers preserved, which, expressing opposite views upon the ques- 
tion, are sufficient to indicate the embarrassment thereby occasioned 
to enlistments in the Regiment at the time, and which became an 
influence of grave consideration in finally determining the question 
of merging the Regiment with those of the regularly constituted 
State organizations: 

Darby, Pa., September 7, 1861. 
Isaiah Price, Esq. 

Dear Sir: The object which the Legislature had in view, in pass- 
ing the act for the relief of the families of volunteers, was to extend 
such aid to those dependent upon the volunteer for support as might 
be deemed just and reasonable, by the board of relief constituted 
by the act in the several counties of the State. I never heard, nor 
never supposed, that any distinction was contemplated between 
those who entered the service of the State and those who should be 
directly mustered into the service of the United States. No such 
discrimination, in favor of the first, was intended by the General 
Assembly, and any construction of the act which shall exclude from 
its benefit the family of any citizen, who enters the service of his 
country, is, in my judgment, a violation of its spirit and meaning, 
and must tend to retard enlistment. I do not pretend to put a 
legal construction upon the act, but speak of it as I understood it, 
and the purpose which it was designed by the Legislature to effect. 
Thousands of men who have joined the army did so without asking 



^^''^■J ORGANIZATION OF THE REGIMENT. 73 

whether it was the State or the United States service they were 
entering. The object of all was the same. They are fighting for 
the same noble cause and are making the same sacrifices to sustain 
it. Why, then, should those have any greater claim to the aid of 
the State than the others'? I am one of those who believe that, in 
a struggle like that in which we are now engaged, every induce- 
ment should be held out for enlisting, and the premium for the 
relief of families is one of the strongest which can be off'ered. It 
removes an objection which would properly prevent many from 
becoming soldiers. It is true that the aggregate taxation for war 
purposes may seem to be oppressive, but which can we best aff'ord, 
to pay the taxes or lose the government 1 It were better that every 
acre of land in Pennsylvania should be mortgaged to its full value 
than that the cause of the Union should fail! Our government 
should be dearer to us than our property, and loyal men will be 
willing to make every sacrifice to preserve it. 

Trusting that the application of this law may be as broad and 
general as it was designed by the Legislature, I remain. 

Very truly, yours, Jacob S, Sereill. 

Chester Springs, September 9, 1861. 
Isaiah Price, Esq. 

Dear Sir; Yours of 4th instant was received on Saturday, 7th. 
I was of opinion, and think it was the design of the Legislature, 
that all volunteers, to secure the benefit of the act, must first be 
recognized by the State authorities. The twelfth section of the act 
makes it unlawful for any volunteer to leave the Commonwealth 
unless he shall have been first accepted by the Governor under a 
requisition from the General Government. The relief committee is 
restricted in their work of benevolence to such as are dependent 
upon those who are in the service of their country, under orders 
from the State authorities. As you are aware, the late proclamation 
of the Governor required all parts of companies, etc., to report at 
Harrisburg. Pennsylvania, conscious of the patriotism of her sons, 
desires that all who enter the service of their country should be 
known and recognized officially by her, that all may partake and 
enjoy her bounty. 

I was not aware until very recently you were engaged in the good 
work. May the smiles of a kind Providence ever be upon you. 
Truly yours, Wm. T. Shafer. 



74 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. [October, 

There had, about this time, some correspondence taken place, be- 
tween Gov. Curtin and the Secretary of War, in regard to the 
companies and regiments being organized in the State, by direct 
authority of the latter, independently of the call upon the State for 
troops. The Governor urging the claim of the State to have all 
the troops enlisted and commissioned by the State authorities, pre- 
vious to acceptance by the War Department; which, being finally 
acquiesced in, the Regiment now came under the direction of the 
State authorities, with the distinct understanding that Col. Guss 
was to be permitted to complete its organization in accordance with 
the original design. 

The number designating the Regiment had at first been under- 
stood to be the 42th P. V., but owing to that number being 
already assigned upon the State records to another regiment, it was 
designated by Gov. Curtin as the Ninety-seventh Regiment Penn- 
sylvania Volunteers. 

Augustus P. Duer, of Penningtonville, Chester Co., Pa., who had 
been appointed lieutenant colonel of the Regiment, by Col. Guss, 
was mustered on the 7th of October, together with Maj. G. Penny- 
packer, by Lieut. Col. C. , F. Rufi', United States mustering ofiicer 
of the district. Dr. John R. Everhart, of West Chester, and Dr 
George W. MiUer, of Philadelphia, were mustered as surgeon and 
assistant surgeon, respectively, on October 14. 1st Lieut. Henry 
W. Carruthers, of Company C, was mustered as adjutant, October 
31, 1861, and 1st Lieut. David Jones, Company H, as quarter- 
master, on the same date. 

To complete the organization of the Regiment, on October 29, 
Col. Guss had designated the following non-commissioned staff offi- 
cers from the enlisted men of Regiment, who were transferred to 
the roster of the field and staff: hospital steward, Harmon Heed, 
of Company H; sergeant major, George A. Lemaistre, of Company 
H ; quarter-master sergeant, James T. Skiles, of Company B ; com- 
missary sergeant, Thomas McKay, of Company A; drum major, 
James St. John, Sr., of Philadelphia, Pa.; fife major, Casper C. 
Pahnestock, of Paoli, Chester Co. These field and non-commis- 
sioned staff officers had performed the duties of their respective po- 
sitions, during the progress of the organization, by virtue of verbal 
appointment from Col. Guss. 

George Kirk, of Easttown, Chester Co., and John F. Forrest, 
of Delaware County, received the appointment of sutlers. The 



1861.] ORGANIZATION OF THE REGIMENT COMPLETED. 75 

former remained with the Regiment until January, 1862, when he 
was obliged to return home, from Hilton Head, S. C, owing to 
failing health from the influence of the Southern climate. Mr. 
Forrest continued with the Regiment a much longer period and be- 
came fuUy identified with its interest and success, providing the 
necessary supplies for the comfort of the men and also a substantial 
fund, arising from a percentage upon his sales, which became a 
basis for the monumental fund. Rev. William M. Whitehead, of 
New CentreviUe, Chester Co., was appointed chaplain, by Col. Guss, 
about the time the Regiment left Camp Wayne, the date of his 
muster being November 19, 1861, which must have been at Wash- 
ington, D. C. 

Eight companies of the Regiment had now (October 29) reached 
the requisite number of men duly mustered into each company. 
Companies I and K yet lacked the aggregate to entitle them to the 
muster of all their oflS.cers. Until these were obtained, Col. Guss 
was also delayed, being mustered some months after the Regiment 
reached Hilton Head, S. C. He, however, entered fully upon the 
command of his Regiment from October 29, from which date the 
Regiment was considered an organized command. The first ofiicial 
order to his Regiment was issued by Col. H. R. Guss, October 15, 
1861, as follows: 

Head-Quarters, 97th P. V., Camp Wayne, 
West Chester, Pa., October 15, 1861. 
Special Orders No. 1. 

Augustus P. Duer having been duly mustered in as lieutenant 
colonel, and Capt. Galusha Pennypacker as major of the 97th Regi- 
ment P. v., they will accordingly assume their respective duties, 
Wednesday morning, October 16, instant. 

The oiRcers and men composing this Regiment will respect and 
obey them in accordance with the rules and articles of war as laid 
down in United States Army regulations. 

Lieut. Col. Duer will take command of Camp Wayne, at 9 o'clock 
A. M'., on the 16th inst., and issue such orders as may be necessary 
for camp regulations. 1st Lieut. Henry W. Carruthers will be tem- 
porarily detailed as adjutant. 

By order of Henry R. Guss, Colqnel 97th P. V. 

[Signed] Henry W. Carruthers, 1st Lieut., Acting Adjutant. 



76 HISTORY OF THE NINETT-SEVENTH REGIMENT. [October, 

Lieut. Col. Duer relieved Maj. Pennypacker in the command of 
Camp Wayne, as designated in the above order. Regimental orders 
were now duly issued as occasion required. The camp was be- 
coming each day a place of increasing interest. 

The companies having muskets were regularly drilled, in the 
manual of arms, by their officers. All the companies were regularly 
exercised in the various movements required to prepare them for 
the service, from four to six hours each day being thus occupied. 

Schools of instruction for officers were organized and kept up at 
various periods subsequently during the term of service. The in- 
struction for officers was mainly devoted to the school of the com- 
pany and the battalion, and occupied one or more evenings each 
week. The school for officers was conducted by Col. H. R. Guss, 
during the early period of the service, and subsequently by Maj. 
G. Pennypacker. The schools for non-commissioned officers were 
conducted by a commissioned officer of each company, being devoted 
chiefly to the school of the soldier and the company. 

After the first four companies had progressed sufficiently in com- 
pany drill, singly, battalion drill was commenced and continued 
regularly while at Camp Wayne, commanded either by Col. H. R. 
Guss, Lieut. Col. A. P. Duer, Maj. G. Pennypacker, or the senior 
captain present. Dress parade daily, and the usual weekly inspec- 
tion of arms, quarters, etc., as prescribed by the army regulations, 
was conducted every Sunday morning. 

During this period, it was the constant aim of the commanding 
officer, and also of the company officers, to secure the advantages 
of perfect drill and discipline for the Regiment, at the outset, in 
order to render it most efficient for the service upon which it was 
about to enter. 

These efforts caused the camp soon to present the daily routine of 
duties appertaining to a well-appointed military post; having effi- 
cient guards, regularly posted and relieved in due form, regular 
hours appointed for drill of companies, and of squads of recruits 
acquiring proficiency in the first movements of a soldier's training. 
These influences naturally resulted in the attainment of a degree of 
discipline alike creditable to both officers and men. 

The varied calls, designating the hours for the usual camp duties, 
guard mounting, drills, parades, etc., were regularly observed as 
prescribed, and the entire camp and quarters kept in thorough order 



1861.] VISITORS AT CAMP WAYNE. 77 

by the men, tending to impress a proper appreciation of sanitary 
regulations of great value in after service. 

While at Camp Wayne, the men were visited by friends from the 
surrounding district, who brought abundance of supplies, substan- 
tials and delicacies, for the comfort of those who were soon to leave 
homes and friends to encounter the perils of war. 

The battalion drills and dress parades became occasions of such 
interest to the families and Iriends of the men, and to the citizens 
generally, as to attract thousands daily to witness them. Of these, 
the most interested spectators were ladies ; mothers, wives, daughters 
and sisters, who came daily to meet a son, husband, father, brother, 
or one held, perhaps, as dear to her heart as by any of these ties of 
kindred, coming to behold them again, and for brief moments to 
enjoy sweet and loving communion with their dear ones, before they 
should go forth to meet their country's foes in deadly conflict. Who 
shall measure the depth of that interest that brought, day after day, 
to witness these preparations, those whose hearts, bleeding with an- 
guish silently, could yet smile through their tears and bravely bid 
their loved ones God speed, burying in the all-absorbing present 
the deep agonies of uncertainty that must for long years cloud the 
heavens and the earth about their lives, as they bear the burden of 
its duties with patience and hope, in lonely vacant homes, while 
their hearts must ever continue to reach out toward these loved ones, 
thus given up to their country in her time of need, with an unrest 
which only their return can satisfy. 

Many contributions of blankets, stockings, and other articles of 
utility and comfort, were brought to the camp and distributed to the 
men by their friends. Some of the companies were the recipients of 
such favors to a considerable extent, the particulars of which cannot 
now be ascertained. Company C received one hundred and one 
pairs of heavy woolen stockings, knit by ladies interested in that 
company, some of which were knit by Rachel Sharpless, a minister 
in the society of Friends, then in her eighty-fifth year, two of her 
grandsons being members of that company and three others in 
other regiments in the service. 

While at Camp Everhart, Company A was the recipient of many 
favors from the citizens of West Chester. A series of resolutions 
were drawn up by the members of that company, tendering sincere 
thanks to Mrs. David McConkey, Mrs. Phebe Evans, Mrs. Lieut. 
Louis Y. Evans, Mr. and Mrs. Lemuel Kinney, and Mr. William 



78 HISTORY OF THE NINETT-SEVENTH REGIMENT. [November, 

Maris, for their many acts of kindness in furnishing, on various 
occasions, bountiful supphes of edibles, and to the Rev. James R. 
Anderson, pastor of the Methodist Episcopal Church, West Chester, 
since deceased, for a supply of Testaments and other religious 
reading matter. 

The different companies of the Regiment were frequently taken 
by their company commanders, on Sunday mornings and evenings, 
to service, at the various churches of West Chester, and, upon a few 
occasions, to Friends' meeting, arrangements being previously made 
to have the men seated in a body. Their deportment upon these 
occasions was uniformly orderly and attentive, evincing a proper 
regard for the object of their going. Many of the discourses to 
which they were privileged to listen were impressively addressed to 
the deep and serious importance of the duties and the dangers of the 
service upon which they were about to enter, demanding of them 
most serious consideration, and urging the necessity of an individual 
reliance upon the Divine power, which alone was sufficient to sustain 
them in the midst of their perilous and arduous future. The under- 
lying influences of the cause in which they were called to serve 
were set forth, showing that a last efibrt toward supremacy in the 
national control, by a power hostile to the principles upon which 
the goverment was founded, had now resorted to the force of arms 
in resistance to the constituted authorities, devolving the duty upon 
every true citizen to aid in maintenance of the national integrity. 
Patriotism was the watchword and the text of the faith preached 
in those days, like Cromwell's advice to his soldiers, " to trust in 
God and keep their powder dry." 

On October 29, orders were issued for the first regular inspection 
of the Regiment, to be held on October 30. Every man was re- 
quired to be in ranks with clothing in knapsacks and all other 
accoutrements on. The inspection was duly made by Col. Guss, 
accompanied by his field oflS.cers. It was a new experience to many 
of the ofiicers and to most of the men, but was quite gratifying to 
all, as the men were in excellent order, with every part of outfit 
new and complete, wanting only the experience of usage and self- 
confidence to become a regiment of the first order, a credit to them- 
selves and their experienced commander. 

On Tuesday, November 12, 1861, Gov. A. G. Curtin, accompanied 
by the members of his staff", visited Camp Wayne for the purpose 
of presenting a stand of colors to the 97th Regiment. 



1861.] FLA.G PRESENTATION BY GOVERNOR CURTIN. 79 

In accordance with previous arrangement, the Governor was met, 
at Oakland Station, upon the Pennsylvania Railroad, by a commit- 
tee of citizens appointed at a town meeting on the evening previous. 
The following gentlemen accompanied the Governor: Lieut. Col. 
John A. Wright, Lieut. Col. J. B. Price, Lieut. Col. Thomas S. 
Bell, 51st P. v., Lieut. Col. Charles Hay, Paymaster Gen. Henry 
D. Maxwell, Commissary Gen. William W. Irwin, Auditor Gen. 
Thomas E. Cochran, Col. Joseph H. Wilson, of the lOlst P. V. 
(then organizing at Camp Curtin, Harrisburg), Col. Samuel B. 
Thomas, Deputy Secretary of the Commonwealth, Capt. Charles M. 
Donovan, of Philadelphia, and Surgeon Gen. H. H. Smith. 

As the distinguished visitors arrived opposite the Hill Meeting 
House, on High Street, they were met by Col. Guss, who had 
marched his Regiment to that point for the purpose of escorting the 
Governor and suite to the Court House, where they arrived at 12.30 
P. M. The Governor was received in a very neat and appropriate 
speech by Joseph J. Lewis. Esq., which was responded to by the 
Governor, in his usual felicitous manner, thanking the citizens of 
AVest Chester for their very kind reception. Further ceremonies 
were then deferred until after the Governor and suite had dined. 

At about 3 P. M., Gov. Curtin and staff, with the other guests, 
arrived at Camp Wayne, where an immense concourse of citizens 
had preceded them. 

The Regiment was formed in column by division closed in mass 
in front of the stand, on the north side of the Fair buildings. The 
people had crowded around the reserved space with such eagerness 
as to render it difficult for the guard to keep clear sufficient room 
for the reception committee and those who were to take part in the 
proceedings. 

When all had been arranged, the Governor came forward, un- 
covered, holding the staff upon which waved the beautiful stars and 
stripes of the flag he was about to entrust to the keeping of the 
Regiment, as its banner, around which to rally when led forth into 
the performance of whatever duty an imperiled country might de- 
mand, and, in these words, consigned it to the Regiment: 

Fellow citizens and soldiers: I am here to-day for the perform- 
ance of an official duty. The Legislature of our State, at its late 
session, provided that regimental flags should be procured and pre- 
sented to the brave men who should go out from the State for the 



80 HISTORY OP THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. [November, 

defence of the National Government. This is one of many like 
occasions in which I have appeared before the soldiers of Pennsyl- 
vania, and I can truly say that no other has had associations more 
inspiring to the patriotic breast, or more calculated to stir within 
me emotions of pride for my native State, with its glowing histories, 
its continual progress for so many years, and its present devotion to 
the principles of truth and justice in which its foundations were 
laid. 

I cannot stand here to-day without remembering that, in the 
year 1682, in the county of Chester, the proprietors and founders 
of the province enacted, by and with the consent of the delegates 
assembled, the first body of laws for the government of Pennsyl- 
vania; those laws which, in their first lines, recognized that from 
the Almighty come all gifts of truth and justice, and the provisions 
of which so clearly recognized an abiding faith in the principles 
which their makers professed. Nor can I forget that in this county 
of Chester were enacted some of the most trying scenes that illus- 
trated so forcibly the bravery and steadfastness of the soldiers of 
that period. 

To the great army of the Revolution 'she gave, too, one of its 
bravest leaders. No general stood more highly in the confidence 
of the Father of his Country, none did more valiant or better ser- 
vice, than Gen. Anthony Wayne. AVe are now assembled within 
a few miles of his birthplace, not far from the spot in which he 
spent much of his life; the place, too, of his death and burial. 
Chester County has not forgotten him, and his name, made so glo- 
rious in the war of the Revolution, in the great contest for the 
establishment of a government upon a basis which thoroughly re- 
cognized the right of man to self-government. That name, I find, 
is now inscribed upon the roll of your Regiment and that you have 
a Wayne as one of your captains. 

I am gratified to see, too, that another Revolutionary name has 
its representatives in your ranks: two lineal descendants of that 
John Morton, who was a signer of the Declaration of Independence, 
are lieutenants in another company. These facts show that the 
patriotic fervor, which warmed the men of the olden times, still 
burns in the hearts of their descendants, who are now ready to die 
in the defence of those same principles for which their ancestors 
risked their lives and encountered the hardships^ of the battle field. 

Here, too, we are in the vicinity of Brandywine, Paoli and Valley 



1861.] SPEECH OF GOVERNOR CURTIN. 81 

Forge; and here, indeed, we cannot but feel that we are treading 
upon classic ground. 

But, citizen soldiers, while Ave thus dwell for a moment upon the 
memories of the glorious past, we may not close our eyes to the stern 
realities of the present time. 

You are here to-day prepared to go forth and battle for the main- 
tenance of those constitutional rights which were transmitted by 
your ancestors, and for the prostration of which more than two hun- 
dred and fifty thousand rebels stand arrayed. 

You have voluntarily left your homes and firesides, the compa- 
nions and scenes of your youthful days, with a full knowledge of the 
probable trials and vicissitudes of a soldier's life, that you may aid, 
to the extent of your ability, in restoring to its original condition 
that Government which was fought for by the most courageous band 
of warriors, and at length triumphantly established by the wisest 
and most prudent statesmen the world has ever known. 

Your mission is not of conquest, is not for spoils and rapine. 
You will go into those States where rebellion rears her haughty 
head erect, holding out to those who are loyal at heart and want 
but the opportunity to display their fidelity as citizens, offering to 
such as these our Constitution, full, perfect and operative, as it has 
been adopted by the chosen representatives of the whole people of 
the United States. 

It is for this you are contending; for this you are ready to lay 
down your lives. But, to the pei'sistent rebel, to the traitor who 
would strike at this Constitution, and who seeks to destroy this 
most excellent Government, this glorious Constitution, this national 
fabric, to him you offer the dread retribution of the sword or the 
rope of the executioner. 

Yours is not a revolutionary struggle — you wish to build up and 
not destroy. In such a cause, with such antecedents of sacrifice and 
devotion for the sake of constitutional liberty, with such prospects 
of a far-extending future, beneath the influence of its institutions, 
I do most heartily say God speed. 

But I cannot be unmindful, whilst thus offering you words of 
encouragement, of the serious reflections that must come home to the 
heart of each of you. You leave at home, a mother, a sister, a wife 
or a child; you are about to part from friends that are dear; you 
know that the warrior's path is beset with dangers, and that many 
a day of fatiguing labor, many a night of sleeplessness, will be the 
6 



82 HISTORY OF THE NINETT-SEVENTH REGIMENT. fNovember, 

inevitable lot of a soldier's life; but yours is the virtue that can feel 
and know all this, yet, for the sake of truth and justice, encounter 
all these perils in their most trying forms. It is this virtue vrhich 
makes your position so elevated, as it proves that you are worthy 
of your sires and the place which gave you birth; that you are fit 
recipients of the flag of your country, which, by the direction of 
the Legislature, I now entrust to your keeping. Take, then, this 
flag; upon its blue field is placed the coat of arms of Pennsylvania, 
surrounded by the thirty-four stars emblematic of the States of the 
whole Union. 

It is the flag of your fathers and of your country. It will be yours 
to bear it in the thickest of the flght and to defend it to the last. 
Upon its return, it will have inscribed upon it the record of those 
battles through which you have carried it, and will become a part 
of the archives of Pennsylvania; and there it will remain, through 
all coming time, a witness to your children and your children's 
children of the valor of their fathers. With full confidence that in 
your hands this banner will never be disgraced, I entrust it to your 
care and for the last time bid you farewell 

At the conclusion, the flag was received by Col. H. R. Guss, who 
said to the Governor : 

I have asked the adjutant of the Regiment, Lieut. Henry W. 
Carruthers, to make the reply to your eloquent address, feeling sure 
he will more adequately express what 1 desire to say than I could, 
speaking being more in his line than mine. 

Adjt. Carruthers then came forward and replied to the eloquent 
sentiments of the Governor as follows : 

Governor: On behalf of Col. Guss and the Ninety-seventh Regi- 
ment, I receive from your excellency's hands this beautiful flag, 
the emblem of our country's nationahty. I have no language to 
delineate the emotions that throb within each soldier's breast at 
this mark of confidence reposed by the grand old Commonwealth 
of Pennsylvania in them, her citizens. Sufiice it to say that we 
thank you with overflowing hearts; and although we desire to 
make no idle boasts, and although we profess mainly to be citizens 
of a quiet agricultural district in the Commonwealth founded by 



^^^^■^ REPLY OF ADJUTANT CAREUTHERS. 83 

Penn, the Apostle of Peace, yet it shall be our endeavor to rally 
around this standard with a sincere devotion truly worthy of the 
great cause. We shall endeavor to bear it victoriously aloft, high 
above the smoke and turmoil of battle, and unpolluted by the touch 
of an inimical hand; and here, in your august presence, before this 
multitude, composed of beauty and manhood, in the heart of a 
county rendered famous and classic by Eevolutionary scenes, and 
by the names of Brandywine, Paoli and Valley Forge, we this day 
devote our strongest efforts and, if need be, our lives to the defence 
of liberty and republican government. Again, your excellency, re- 
presenting the teeming millions of the Keystone State, has addressed 
us with words of encouragement, with words of compliment and 
words of hope. We thank you for them ; we feel proud that we are 
Pennsylvanians ; we admire her patriotism ; we glory in her strength ; 
we rejoice at her prosperity and boast of her elements of greatness 
and empire; yet we derive a greater satisfaction from the fact that 
we are American citizens, subjects of a Government founded by 
Washington, and rather than be less "we would be dogs and bay 
the moon." 

A government so free can never be destroyed; a cause so glorious 
as its defence cannot but be victorious. How clear it is to the 
people is evidenced by the patriotic host that, at the first tocsin of 
alarm, gathered around her planet standard with a spirit more 
eager for the fray than the wild retainers of the Macgregor's Scot- 
tish clan. We desire to be numbered with them, and, like the 
idohzed Harry of the West, we believe that the colors which float 
from this standard should be the credentials of every freeman; and 
we shall stand erect whilst life endures, with a spirit undaunted, 
ready to second the efforts of the Administration in behalf of 
hberty, the Union and the national prosperity. 

The exercises of the day, which were no less impresssive than in- 
teresting throughout, concluded with a review of the Regiment, by 
Gov. Curtin and staff. The movements of the companies exhibited 
very creditable attainment in drill and discipline, and Col. Guss 
was deservedly complimented for the exactitude of all their move- 
ments. 

On November 12, Col. Guss received, from Gov. Curtin, verbal 
orders to hold his Regiment in readiness to proceed to Washington, 
D. C, within a very few days. Preparations were immediately com- 



84 



HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH EEGIMENT. 



[ Oclober; 



menced for departure. The camp became the scene of still greater 
interest and activity as the time for parting drew near. The drill 
and regular order of duty were suspended to allow the men all 
possible time with their friends in the camp. Many touching and 
tender incidents of parting occurred which were too sacred for 
portrayal by the historic pen. 

On November 15, final marching orders were received. Early on 
the morning of the 16th, the Regiment marched out of Camp 
Wayne and passed through the principal streets of West Chester 
to the depot of the Philadelphia and West Chester Railroad. Pass- 
ing along the route, the citizens and friends of the Regiment 
thronged the sidewalks, crowding the way, eager to press through 
to give a last embrace and adieu to near and dear ones. From 




THE COOPEK SHOP VOLUNTEER KEPIIESHMENT SALOON AND HOSPITAL. 

the windows waved the hands and banners of many fair ones who 
scattered bouquets and flowers as they bade their adieus and God 
speed. The scene was imposing and impressive as the march con- 
tinued. On Church Street, a halt was made to partake of a lunch 
of 005*60 and sandwiches provided by the citizens. All along the 
route to the depot, the sway of greeting hands, waving of hand- 
kerchiefs, and the murmur of thousands of voices mingled in last 
adieus, found at length its culmination, breaking forth in hearty 
cheers for the boys in blue as the train took its departure at 
11.20 A. M. 



.,.Ji 



1861.] 



DEPARTURE FROM CAMP WAYNE. 



85 



At the stations, on the way to Philadelphia, many of the friends 
of the Regiment were collected, who cheered and shouted adieus as 
the train sped past. Arrived at West Philadelphia at 12.45 P. M. 
Marched thence to the Cooper Shop Refreshment Saloon, at Otsego 
Street and Washington Avenue (four miles), and were there re- 
freshed by the kind hospitality of that committee and of the Union 
Refreshment Committee, whose united eiforts to provide for the com- 
fort of the soldiers passing through Philadelphia were crowned 
with such remarkable success as to have placed the loyal liberality 
of her citizens most prominent as a feature of importance during 
the war, rendering those places dear and familiar to the hundreds 
of thousands who were refreshed by the way, both going to and 
returning from the front. From the saloons, marched to the depot 
of the Philadelphia, Wilmington and Baltimore Railroad, and at 
5 30 P. M. started fo^ Washington. 




THE TTNION VOLUNTEER KEFKESHMENT SALOON. 



While on the march up Washington Avenue to the depot, Mrs. 
Mary St. John, familiarly known as " Mother St. John," joined the 
Regiment, as laundress, her home being in Philadelphia. She was 
the wife of Drum Maj. James St. John. Her two youngest sons were 
also members of the Regiment. She remained continuously with 
the Regiment until the spring of 1864, rendering valuable services 
to the sick and wounded. Her conduct was always such as to merit 
and receive the respect of all, and her presence in the camp was 
ever the guarantee of some desirable comfort that could not other- 
wise have been obtained. 

At Chester, Delaware Co., Pa., many of the friends of the Regi- 
ment had gathered to give them a parting greeting. Companies D, 



86 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. [November, 

G and T being from Delaware County. At Wilmington, Del, also, 
a large number came to see the Regiment pass and have another 
good-bye. Here all were left behind who had any personal interest 
in the Regiment, yet, along the entire route to Baltimore and Wash- 
ington, cheers and enthusiasm everywhere greeted the coming oi 
another regiment to the national defence. 

Arrived at Baltimore at 5.30 A. M., November 17, and marched 
from the President Street Depot, through the city, over the route 
along which the 6th Massachusetts Regiment passed, on April 19, 
when fired upon by the rebel mob. The streets were now almost 
deserted. Occasionally, however, the sight of the old flag, waving 
from the upper windows, gave cheering indication of a remnant of 
loyalty as we passed along. The rebel element was, however, still 
more evident in the skulking suUenness of the few observed peering 
from alleys and byways along the route. 

Left Baltimore at 8.30 A. M. Arrived at Washington at 3 P. M., 
having been delayed awaiting trains passing north from Washington. 
The railroad from Havre de Grace to Washington was picketed 
and guarded by a strong force, stationed at intervals, from which the 
guards were distributed. 

The Regiment partook of a lunch, provided at the Soldiers' Rest, 
adjoining the depot, and afterwards marched to an open lot half a 
mile north of the Capitol, where tents were pitched for the first 
time at dusk on November 17, 1861. The camp was named Camp 
Jones Brooke, in honor of Hon. H. Jones Brooke, whose influence 
had aided the Regiment in its organization. 

The sharp cold wind of that November evening swept keenly 
over the unsheltered men while waiting for the teams to bring up 
the tents. But none complained of hardship, the men seeming im- 
pressed with the feeling that such inconveniences were a part of a 
soldier's life to be endured uncomplainingly. The weather remained 
very cold for several days, but the men being in good spirits and all 
well, except a few who had taken slight colds, there was but little 
inconvenience suffered. 

The healthy condition of our men was noticed, upon arriving at 
Washington, in this wise: A medical officer came to Dr. Everhart 
and pointed out the ambulances for conveyance of the sick. Upon 
Dr. Everhart saying, " We have no sick," he seemed astonished and 
said this was the first regiment that had arrived in Washington 
with less than ten or twelve to be taken to the hospital. Other 



1861.] CAMP JONES BROOKE, WASHINGTON. 87 

officers and citizens, who were present when the Regiment arrived, 
expressed the opinion that it had the most robust and healthy- 
looking men that had reached Washington. The same opinion was 
expressed to officers of the Regiment while in Baltimore. 

On November 20, the Regiment was marched to the Washing- 
ton arsenal, where the companies which had been previously armed 
with the old muskets, turned in their arms, depositing them in a 
pile at the arsenal as they marched in, after which the entire Regi- 
ment received the new Springfield rifled musket, of the pattern of 
1861, a beautiful and effective piece, with which the men were 
highly pleased. 

While encamped at Washington, in addition to the usual camp 
duties, the men were occupied daily in company drill and in the 
manual of arms, etc., the recruits last enlisted being drilled in 
squads by the non-commissioned officers of the companies. 

Col. Guss, having received orders from the War Department to 
proceed with his Regiment to Fortress Monroe, Va., issued orders, 
on the evening of the 19th, to have two days' rations cooked and 
to have the men ready to march at short notice. Accordingly, on 
the 20th, after returning from the march to the arsenal, the order 
was given to strike tents and pack up, which the men obeyed with 
a ready will. Teams were soon upon the ground to convey the tents 
and baggage to the depot, for shipment to Baltimore, from whence 
the Regiment was to embark. At 2 P. M., marched to the depot; 
waited until 4 P. M. for cars; then loaded baggage and men and 
waited until 8 P. M. for the arrival of other trains on the road; 
reached Baltimore at 11 P. M., remaining under the shelter of the 
depot until morning. The men, finding resting places on the floor, 
slept soundly. Before marching from the depot, on the morning of 
November 21, the 93d Pennsylvania Regiment, Col. James Mc- 
Carter, from Lebanon, Pa., arrived at Baltimore and halted by the 
depot to await transportation. There were many pleasant greetings 
between the men who, though from distant localities, were glad to 
meet as Pennsylvanians and patriots. Previous to leaving the depot 
in Baltimore, the men were plentifully refreshed by the Union Re- 
freshment Committee. Then marched to Locust Point, on the 
Patapsco River, where Companies B, E, G, H, I and K, with the 
band, embarked on board the steamer Georgiana. Considerable 
delay occurred in loading the baggage of the Regiment owing to the 
inconvenience of the landing. At 3 P. M., when the companies 



88 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. f °'^^^ "' 

designated had been taken on board, it was found the steamer 
could not carry the entire Regiment. The remaining companies, 
A, C, D and F, were then marched nearly two miles to Concord 
Street Wharf, to embark on the steamer Louisiana, which was to 
start at 7 P. M. Those companies were commanded by Lieut. Col. 
A. P. Duer, Col. Guss and the other field officers being on board 
the Georgiana. 

At dayhght on the morning of November 22, the two steamers on 
which the Regiment had embarked had arrived in the bay opposite 
Fortress Monroe, Va., and had anchored quite near together. 



FORTRESS MONROE IN 1861. 



At 7 A. M., the Regiment landed upon the wharf at the fort, 
boats not being permitted to land troops or citizens between sun- 
down and 7 A. M. Col. Guss reported his arrival to the com- 
mandant, Maj. Gen. John E. Wool, U. S. A., and received orders 
where to encamp. The Regiment was formed in line near the 
wharf, then marched about one and a half miles southwest of the 
fort, over a gravel road, crossing a bridge that spans an arm of the 
bay or inlet, toward the village of Hampton, which the rebels had 
burned a short time previous upon the approach of Gen. Phelps' 



1801.] 



CAMP HAMILTON. 



89 




THB BURNING OF HAMPTON. 



troops. The tall chim- 
neys, left standing amid 
the rains, were in fall 
view during the march, 
presenting a vivid pic- 
ture of the desolation 
wrought by a misguided 
people in its rebellion 
against the protecting 
power of a beneficent 
government. For the 
second time in its his- 
tory, this village had 

fallen a prey to the ravages of destroying flames, now kindled by 
the fugitive dwellers within its ancient and time-honored walls. 
The British troops, during the war of 1812, first consigned its 
dwellings to the torch, but, more considerate of sacred edifices, had 
spared the ancient church of St. John, built of bricks that had 
crossed the ocean with the earliest 
settlers. Its later desolaters, more 
ruthless, have left no trace of its an- 
cient and memorable mansions, save 
the tall blackened chimneys and the 
bare and crumbling walls of the old 
church, around which the tombstones 
of past generations grimly stand as 
sentinels, bearing silent record of an- 
cestral honor and earlier patriotism. 

The place selected for the camp was about midway between the 
fort and Hampton. Several regiments were already encamped near 
by. The name of Camp Hamilton had been given to the locality, 
which was understood to embrace the entire camp. The 97th Regi- 
ment encamped in a field next to one occupied by the 11th Pa. 
Cav., commanded by Col. Josiah Harlan, of Chester Co., Pa. The 
following Pennsylvania regiments were also at Camp Hamilton at 
the same time, viz.: 45th, 55th and 76th Infantry. 

The department was commanded by that veteran officer,v Maj. 
Gen. John E. Wool, U. S. A., and the post by Brig. Gen. James K. 
F. Mansfield. 

After the camp lines were established and the guards detailed 




RUINS OF ST. John's church. 



90 HISTORY OP THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. [November, 

and posted, orders were issued to have the ground cleared of weeds, 
etc. (it being an old tobacco field), and to have wells dug in each 
company street. The water being found about five feet below the 
surface, the wells were walled by placing barrels, open atAoth ends, 
in the hole, two or more on top of each other. In this manner, 
water was procured during the greater portion of the term of ser- 
vice in the Department of the South. It was generally good for a 
time, but became brackish, and often quite bad, after the wells had 
been long in use, requiring new wells to be dug. 

Company and battalion drill were now resumed, the former gene- 
rally in the morning and the latter in the afternoon, and dress 
parade half an hour before sunset. 

At the close of the first battalion drill, at Camp Hamilton, Col. 
Guss compUmented his officers and men for their performance, and 
said: "All that was wanted was a little more practice to make an 
efficient and reliable regiment." The colonel being already greatly 
beloved by his officers and men, in consequence of his kind and 
considerate attention to their comfort and welfare constantly mani- 
fested, caused praise of him to be heard from almost all in the 
Regiment. 

The line of outside pickets at the post extended along the stream 
that separates Camp Hamilton from the village of Hampton, and 
from the stream across to the beach, at a distance of about two 
miles from the camp and near the same distance from the fort. 

From the picket lines, drumming in the rebel camp was heard. 
A few cavalry pickets were occasionally seen, but did not approach 
our lines. The broad expanse of Hampton Roads, stretching away 
to the westward from our camp, presented an attractive interest. 
In the distance, occasionally the dark smoke of rebel steamers could 
be seen moving behind Craney Island toward Sewell's Point, where 
a rebel battery aided in barring the way to Norfolk and Portsmouth. 
Nearer and in plain view could be seen the tall masts and spars of 
the national vessels at anchor in the roads. The boding influence 
of the coming storm seemed presaged in the dim and dusky autumn 
air as a mirage of the conflict which a few weeks later burst so 
suddenly upon the startled beholders of the memorable attack of the 
Merrimac upon the Cumberland and other vessels of the fleet. De- 
fenceless against the impetuous thrusts of her deep-cutting prow, 
defeat and disaster seemed impending until the opportune arrival 
of the first Monitor turned the tide of battle and rescued the 



1861.] 



CAMP HAMILTON. 



91 



national fleet from the inevitable destruction that would otherwise 
have ensued. 

During the night of November 29, signal lights and rockets were 
seen in the direction of Sewell's Point and heavy firing was heard 
from near Norfolk. Firing had also been heard at intervals during 
the previous afternoon. It was then supposed to be the enemy 
practicing. On the 31st, heavy firing was again heard from beyond 
Craney Island, the smoke from the guns being distinctly visible 
from the camp. It proved to be a gunboat shelling a rebel supply 
boat on its way to Sewell's Point. 




BATTLE OF THE MONIl OR AND MEBBIMAC. 



These incidents are noted as showing the eager interest mani- 
fested by all in whatever afforded an opportunity of a nearer ex- 
perience with the yet untried realities of the conflict of arms. 

On December 3, 1861, a chill and dreary morning, about two 
inches of snow covered the ground and it was very cold, but the 
boys were all cheerful and ready for duty. Drill was postponed in 
order to avoid unnecessary exposure of the men. In addition to 
the usual routine, each company had been receiving instruction in 
the skirmish drill, several having already attained considerable pro- 
ficiency in the various deployments. 

While at Camp Hamilton, several of the ofiicers and men were 
taken sick with violent cramping pains in the bowels, which the 
surgeons attributed to vegetable impurities in the water, these cases 
yielding readily to proper medical treatment. 

On the 8th of December, 1861, at Fortress Monroe, Va., the 
following men of the Eegiment were discharged, upon surgeon's 
certificate of disability, and returned to their homes; viz.: Taylor 



92 



HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. [December, 



W. Harper, drummer, Co. C; John F. Cloud, wagoner, Co. D; 
Privates Jacob B. James, Co. A; Joseph D. McGinnis, Co. B; 
Thomas T. Esworthy and John Opperman, Co. F ; Stephen John- 
son, Hugh McKenna and William Wright, Co. G; Charles Brown 
and Taylor Wilson Mclntyre, Co. K. Most of these men again 
entered the service in other regiments. One of them, William 
Wright, returned to Co. G, 97th Regiment, early in 1863. These 
discharges were ordered in consequence of the inability of the men 
to accompany their Eegiment, then under marching orders. Corp. 
Henry G. Yocum, of Co. G, being also sick with measles, was left 
at the hospital at Fortress Monroe, Va., when the Eegiment em- 
barked. He afterwards died, December 21, 1861, being the first 
death of a member of the Regiment. He was buried, with military 
honors, at West Chester, Pa., where his mother resided. 




PI/AN OP BATTLE AT POBT ROTAL HAKBOR. 



1861.] PORT ROYAL. 93 




CHAPTER III. 

Department of the South, Hilton Head, S. C; Warsaw Sound, 
Ga.; Fort Clinch, Fernandina and Jacksonville, Fla.; Edisto 
AND John's Island, S. C, December, 1861, to JAjujifRY , 1862. 

OMMODORE DUFONT'S brilliant success, at Port 
Royal, S. C, on November 7, 1861, and the subsequent 
occupation of Hilton Head and Beaufort, S. C, by the 
United States forces, had opened the way for more ex- 
tensive operations in the Department of the South. 
To this most interesting point the 97th Regiment was 
now ordered. Col. Guss issued orders, early on the 
morning of December 8, 1861, to strike tents and make 
ready to pack up. By noon, the camp and garrison 
equipage had been transferred to the wharf, and a detail engaged in 
loading the baggage on board the transport. At 2 P. M., the Regi- 
ment marched to the landing. One company at a time was then 
taken upon a small steamer and transferred to the United States 
steam transport Ericsson, at anchor in the bay. It was a tedious 
process getting from the small vessel to the steamer, owing to the 
decks being of different height, the guard rails obstructing the pass- 
age of the men, encumbered with knapsacks, arms, accoutrements, 
etc. Col. Guss superintended in person the embarkation and the 
assignment of quarters to the companies, seeing that all were com- 
fortably arranged, each company having its separate place where 
the men could dispose of their arms, baggage, etc., and have a 
guard to keep watch of it in turn. 

The steamer lay at anchor in the bay until the morning of the 
9th, weighed anchor at 11 A. M., and was soon under way. Pass- 
ing near the steam frigates Minnesota and Roanoke, the marines 
ran up the rigging and gave three hearty cheers which our men 
returned with a will. 
Guard mounting was performed as prescribed for troops on ship- 



94 



HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. [December 



board, the daily routine of duties and attention to the sanitary con- 
dition of the men being strictly observed during the voyage. 

After a very pleasant voyage of three days, the sea being perfectly 
calm, reached the entrance to Port Royal Harbor, on the evening 
of December 11, too late for a pilot to come out. The steamer lay 
to, awaiting morning to enter, but, at 10 P. M., a storm coming 
on, the captain headed the steamer seaward, and ran out to avoid 
the dangers of the coast. For three days it continued with in- 
creasing violence. The men suffered greatly from sea-sickness and 
confinement below. 

The billows tossed the ship like a shell upon their crests, while 
the wind whistled shrill and meaningly through the cordage, as the 
tempest spent its force over the wide expanse of waters, but the 
timbers of the staunch steamer held together well, being strongly 
built. It was a grand sight to witness, standing upon the deck at 
night, looking out upon the seething cauldron over which the dark- 
ness of the night rested, while beneath its pall the foaming billows 
were lit up with the sparkling brilliancy of those mysterious lights 
that seemed to dance upon the waters in very sportiveness, mar- 
vellous in their beauty and source, intangible as the visions of fairy 
land. 

By the morning of December 14, the storm had so far abated as 
to permit the steamer to venture into port. About 10 A. M. a 
pilot was signalled, who came out. He brought the steamer to the 
outer bar, at the entrance to Port Royal Harbor, where it was ne- 
cessary to anchor and await high tide to enable the vessel to enter 
in safety. At 4 P. M., weighed anchor, and 
was soon safe in the bay of Port Royal, S. C. 





FORT WALKER. 



FORT BEAUREGARD. 



Across the bay, Dupont's fleet was at anchor. His flagship Wa- 
bash and the Susquehanna, conspicuous, received the admiration of 
all eyes. Fort Walker, Hilton Head and Fort Beauregard, opposite 



1861.] 



HILTON HEAD. 



95 



CT JOHNSON <- 



CHARLESTor^ 




STONE FLEET BLOCKADE. 



on Bay Point, were also objects of interest, for here the enemy 
made a most desperate resistance, which gave the greater eclat to 
the success of the national fleet. 
The men eagerly noted the effect 
of the bombardment as they passed 
in to anchor for the night. Three 
of the dismantled hulks, brought 
down to obstruct Charleston har- 
bor, by sinking them loaded with 
granite, were here, awaiting the 
remainder of the stone fleet. On 
December 20, sixteen of them 
were sunk in the channels of 
Charleston harbor, under the di- 
rection of Fleet Captain Charles 
H. Davis. 

The men hailed the prospect of landing with delight, being worn 
out with sea-sickness and close confinement on shipboard. On 
December 15, disembarked in lighters which came alongside the 
steamer, each taking one company at a time. A detail was left to 
unload and bring ashore the baggage. 

The Regiment formed in iine on the beach near Fort Walker, on 
Hilton Head, then marched about half a mile to the rear of the 
fort to encamp in a cotton field. The ground, uneven from the 
ridges of last year's tillage, was covered with tall weeds, coarse 
grass, prickly pear and a sharp sand-burr, quite annoying to come 
in contact with. Tents were pitched temporarily, in the entangle- 
ment of weeds and nightfall, cheerily by the men liberated from the 
greater discomfort of the crowded transport. The 76th P. V. was 
encamped in an adjoining field. At the instance of its adjutant, 
William Darlington, a son of Dr. William Darlington, of West 
Chester," the companies of that regiment made hot coff'ee and 
brought to the Regiment to partake of while waiting for their tents 
to arrive. The officers also invited the officers of the 97th to take 
supper with them. The kindness was fully appreciated, and in that 
evening's hospitality originated the fraternal feeling that in the 
future so strongly united these regiments in their after experiences 
in the service. 

For two days the men were employed in clearing and leveling the 
ground for the camp and a portion of the field adjoining for drill 



96 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. [December, 

ground, details from each company being made for the purpose. 
Wells were also dug. The camp soon presented a contrast to the 
wilderness of weeds into which the Regiment had marched. During 
the work, many large shot, fragments of shell and some unexploded 
shell, thrown by the gunboats during the bombardment, were found 
by the men.' They were objects of much interest and curiosity. 
Some accidents occurred from the careless handling of the latter, 
attempting to unload them or placing those supposed to be empty 
upon the fires. The guns and accoutrements now received the 
much needed attention, necessarily relaxed during the sea voyage, 
owing to the sickness of the men and the crowded condition of the 
vessel. 

After these preparations, the regular routine of drill and disci- 
pline was resumed and the bayonet exercise introduced. Dress 
parade in the evening and guard mounting at post head-quarters, 
in due form every morning, each regiment furnishing a portion of 
the post guard in turn. iJetails of a company daily were also 
made for work upon the intrenchments, in course of erection, as an 
inland protection to the large amount of stores being concentrated 
at Hilton Head, the depot of supplies for the department. 

Brig. Gen. Thomas W. Sherman was in command of the Depart- 
ment of the South, with head-quarters at Hilton Head, S. C, when 
the Regiment landed, to whom Col. Guss reported for duty. The 
land force consisted of three brigades, commanded, respectively, bv 
_ Brig. Gens. Egbert S. Viele, 

Isaac I. Stevens and Ho- 
ratio G. Wright. To the 
brigade of the latter the 
97th Regiment was as- 
signed by Gen. Sherman. 

POPE'S HOUSE AT HILTON HEAD. ^he priucipal officcs of the 

department were located in 
the large mansion of Mr. Pope, conspicuous in appearance in con- 
trast with the long lines of sheds and smaller houses erected for 
quarters and government stores. A shot from one of the guns of 
the bombarding fleet had penetrated and passed through it from 
side to side. It was otherwise uninjured. 

While on board the steamer, several of the men had been taken 
sick with the measles, and after landing many were affected with 
that disease, which prevailed for several weeks ; but, with careful 




1861.] 



ADVANCE AT PORT ROYAL FERRY. 



97 



treatment and a propitious climate, the cases all recovered, leaving 
none of the complications that often follow the disease in adults. 

On December 23, the first inspection since landing at Hilton 
Head. The arms presented the effects of rust caused by the salt 
water and sea air of the voyage. Most of the men were known to 
have done all in their power to keep their pieces bright and clean, 
while on shipboard, the rust being inevitable from the influence of 
the salt atmosphere. 

About December 28, Capt. Mcllvaine, of Company H, received 
a furlough for thirty days and returned home. 1st Lieut. Evans, of 
Company A, was assigned to the command of Company H until the 
return of Capt. Mcllvaine, which was on January 27, 1862, when 
Lieut. Evans returned to duty in Company A. 




On 

December 
31, 1861, a 
combined land 
and naval force be- 
^'^ gan a' movement against 
the enemy at Port Royal 
P 'Ferry, near Beaufort, S. C. 
Three regiments were sent from 
Hilton Head. The 97th Regi- 
ment had received orders to be 
ready to march at a moment's notice. 
The attack began early on the morning 
of January 1, 1862. Heavy firing was heard, 
during the day, in the direction of Beaufort, but 
no order to march came. At 12 M., the long roll 
was 'beat in all the camps at Hilton Head. The 
97th was formed on the color line and awaited orders. 
Then arms were stacked and the men dismissed with 
orders to keep on their accoutrements until the tap of the drum. 
The advance being successful support was unnecessary. Marching 
orders were countermanded and the excitement subsided. 
7 



98 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH EEGIMENT. [January, 

On January 2, 1862, Capt. Price, of Company C, was detailed, 
with other officers and men of the Regiment, upon recruiting service, 
An account of that service is given in another chapter. During 
the absence of Capt. Price, the command of Company C devolved 
upon 1st Lieut. Emmor G. Griffith until April, 1862. 

On January 7, at Hilton Head, S. C, Private Henry Stephens, of 
Company F, died, of congestive fever, and was buried on the follow- 
ing day at the cemetery outside the intrenchments. This was the 
first funeral in the Regiment. 

Eleven enlisted men were discharged, for physical disability, at 
Hilton Head, S. C, in January, 1862. 

On January 21, 1862, an expedition was fitted out, at Hilton 
Head, to operate against Fort Pulaski and some points on the 
Florida coast, A brigade, consisting of the 6th Connecticut, 4th 
New Hampshire, 9th Maine, and the 97th Pennsylvania, under 
command of Gen. H. G. Wright, constituted the land force which 
was designed to pass by way of Warsaw Sound, Wilmington River 
and St. Augustine Creek, and enter the Savannah River in rear of 
Fort Pulaski. 

The 97th P. V. left its camp at 3 P. M., on the 21st, and em- 
barked on thesplendi^d steamer Boston, commanded by Capt. J. P. 
Johnson, of BeslsH-, Mass. He proved to be a prince of steamboat 
captains and a staunch friend, whose kindness the Regiment was 
fortunate in having many opportunities of enjoying. At the camp 
upon Hilton Head, forty-six convalescent and sick men were left, 
under the care of Dr. R. H. Smith, 1st sergeant of Company G. 2d 
Lieut. James Hughes, of Company B, then physically disabled from 
accompanying the expedition, was left in comma,nd. The weather 
becoming quite stormy, delayed the movement until January 26, 
when the fleet proceeded to Warsaw Sound, Ga., thirteen miles 
below Savannah, and came to anchor at 4 P. M. on that day. At 
8 A. M., on the 27th, six gunboats of the fleet advanced up the 
Wilmington River to reconnoitre. Firing was heard frequently 
during the day, the smoke being plainly visible from the transports. 
On the 28th, at noon, heavy firing was heard' in the direction of 
Savannah River. Five rebel steamers appeared at 2.30 P. M., de- 
scending Wilmington River. Our gunboats having returned opened 
a brisk fire upon them, stopping their progress at a bend of the 
river, frustrating their purpose of reconnoitering the operations of 
the expedition. 



1863.] 



OPERATIONS AGAINST FORT PULASKI. 



99 



These were regarded as an effort to approach the city of Sa- 
vannah by landing a force to march inland. A lodgment had 
been made on Jones and Bird Islands, and batteries completed by 
February 11, which effectually closed Savannah River in the rear of 
Fort Pulaski. Meanwhile, other and more important progress was 
being made upon the low marshy borders of Tybee Island, within 
a few hundred yards of Fort Pulaski, where, in the silence of the 
night, under cover of the dense growth of chaparral, a road was 
built over the swamp, regarded wholly inaccessible, but which 
Ginnore's men disproved by piling brush and pine poles together, 
upon which sand, carried in boxes from the shore, was deposited, 
finishing with a plank roadway, extending from the beach to the 
batteries, over which the heavy siege guns and mortars, some weigh- 
ing upwards of eight tons, were dragged on sling carts by the men, 
two hundred being required for each heavy piece. 

An old martello tower stands on 
almost the only solid point of the island, 
at the entrance to the river. It was an 
object of great interest and curiosity. 
Its builders AV^ould be, no doubt, more 
perplexed at the result of modern engi- 
neering, which has built such formid- 
able batteries upon the swamps that lie 
between it and Fort Pulaski, than our 
men seemed to be with its quaint design 
and strong concrete walls. Before these 
preparations for the reduction of Fort 
Pulaski were completed, the co-opera- 
tive force, commanded by Gen. Wright, 
having accomplished its object, was ordered to advance upon points 
still further south. Gen. Gij^more, having placed his siege batteries 
in order, was ready to open fire on April 9. On the morning of 
the 10th, Gen. Hunter sent Lieut. J. H. WilsoQ, of the Topo- 
graphical Engineers, who had made the principal explorations lead- 
ing to these operations, to demand the surrender of the garrison 
by its commander. Col. Charles H. 01m stead, of the 1st Georgia 
Regiment. This being refused, in the declaration, " I am here to 
defend the fort, not to surrender it," at 8.15 A. M., the batteries 
opened upon it and continued firing all day; five of the enemy's 
guns being silenced and the responses of the others becoming 




MARTELLO TOWBE; TTBEB ISLAND. 



100 



HISTORY OF THE NINETr-SEVENTH REGIMENT. FFebruary, 




= ^tit fc^ 








BREACH IN JfOnT PULASKI. 



less freauent. Two 
of Gilpore's guns 
fired at intervals 
ot eighteen minutes 
through the night. 
At sunrise, the next 
morning, the batte- 
ries opened afresh 
with the greatest 
vigor. A yawning 
breach soon became 
visible at a point 
where the fire of 
Sigel, Scott and Mc 
Clellan concentrated. 
Yet the fort con- 
tinued the fight bravely until 2 P. M., when preparations were made 
to storm the work. A white flag was then displayed from the walls, 
causing the fire to cease. Ten guns were found dismounted. It 
was a hard fought but almost bloodless contest, only one killed on 
each side, the enemy having several wounded. 

The fort, forty-seven heavy guns, a large supply of fixed ammuni- 
tion, forty , thousand pounds of powder, a large quantity of com- 
missary stores and three hundred prisoners were the fruits of this 
success. 

The 97th Regiment, though not actually present at the bombard- 
ment of Pulaski, may properly be regarded as assisting in its reduc- 
tion through the advance by Warsaw Sound, entailing its measure 
of suff'ering, sacrificing the lives of several of its bravest and best 
men, from the fevers contracted in the closely-crowded transports. 

Of those left sick in the hospital, at Hilton Head, Private Hunter 
Maxton, of Company F, died, January 25, of congestive fever, and 
Sergt. Gerritt S. Hambleton, of Company C, died, January 31, 1862, 
of typhoid fever. His death was universally lamented by the ofii- 
cers and men of his company, and by most in the Regiment, being 
a young man of great worth and amiability, with bright talents and 
promise, whose excellent and efiicient qualities had already indi- 
cated his selection for promotion to the first vacancy for a commis- 
sion in his company. Through the exertions of his friend, faithful 
companion and nurse, Corp. B. Lundy Kent, of the same company, 



^S^^l FORT PULASKI AND WARSAW SOUND. 101 

his body was sent home for interment, at Longwood Cemetery, 
where, on the morning of February 16, 1862, his family and friends 
gathered and sadly laid his remains in that quiet resting place. 
Many touching tributes were paid to his worth, and all felt that 
his work, though scarcely begun, was yet complete in its earnest 
devotion to the aim of a most noble purpose. This tribute to his 
excellence of character and promise is taken from a letter, written 
by Adjt. H. W. Carruthers, to .a friend in West Chester, dated 
Warsaw Sound, Ga., February 3, 1862: "* * * We left a 
number of sick men in camp (at Hilton Head, S. C.) when we 
started, and last night's intelligence informed us that two are dead. 
One, G. S. Hambleton, a sergeant of Capt. Price's company, one of 
the very finest young men in the Regiment. Physical strength, 
beauty, kindness of heart and intellectual attainments of a high 
order, were his. He was so strong and robust that I thought 
disease would reach him the last of aU. He died of typhoid fever. 
* * * H. W. C " 

On. February 1, on board steamer Boston, in Warsaw Sound, Ga., 
Private Joseph R. McKinley, of Company C. died, of ship fever, 
after an illness of only a few hours. He was buried, on Warsaw 
Island, the same evening. Lieut. Gardiner, of Company C, with a 
detail for the purpose, went ashore to make the interment. While 
thus engaged, the out-going tide left their boat aground, in a creek 
too shoal to get out until the next tide, Lieut. Gardiner and party, 
being obliged to remain ashore until morning without sufiicient 
shelter, suffered greatly from the exposure. 

On February 3, Companies B, C and F, under command of Lieut. 
Col. Duer, with Dr. Miller in charge of the sick, were transferred 
from steamer Boston to the Marion, in order to relieve the crowded 
condition of the men. On February 9, all the troops were landed 
on Warsaw Island to give the men an airing and exercise. On the 
same day, details were sent from all the companies to Hilton Head 
for a portion of the tents and clothing, which arrived on the 12th, 
with moat of the convalescents, who had been left behind. On 
February 16, the Regiment landed and occupied tents near the 
beach on Warsaw Island. Remained on the island until February 
26. The men were drilled in company and battalion drill, having 
dress parade every day. 

On February 19, 2d Lieut. William Gardiner, of Company C, 
died, after an illness of a few hours, of congestive fever. It was im- 



102 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH EEGIMENT. [February, 

possible to send his remains home, so he was buried beside Private 
McKinley, on Warsaw Sound, near the broad Atlantic, beneath a 
beautiful grove of live oak .and palmetto. Sadly his comrades 
lowered him into the grave and closed the earth above him, marking 
with his name, age and rank the place where he lies. 

The following notice of the death of Lieut. Gardiner appeared in 
a West Chester paper, when the intelligence reached his home : 

" Died, on board U. S. transport Boston, in Warsaw Sound, on 
the coast of Georgia, on the morning of the 19th of February, 
1862, after a short iUness, Lieut. William Gardiner, of Company C, 
in the twenty-fourth year of his age. Thus we record the fall of 
another of the brave and patriotic young men of Company C, who, 
but a few months ago, went forth from their homes and friends in 
defence of their country. Truly in these instances is verified: 
' Death loves a shining mark.' 

"Gentle and unobtrusive in manner, even to extreme modesty, 
the worth of Lieut. Gardiner was only known by those intimately 
associated with him. Attentive and efficient in duty, and closely 
studious, lie had acquired a proficiency seldom equalled in aU that 
pertains to the service. Unsolicited, and without any other influ- 
ence, his own merit had secured his selection for a position which, 
in filling, he honored, winning his way still deeper in the esteem and 
affection of his companions in arms, who sincerely mourn his loss. 

" But who shall measure the depths of sorrow this sad event has 
brought to his widowed mother, or realize the grief of his young 
sister (now her only companion), while still other sons and brothers 
are far away in the tented fields beyond the Potomac." 

On February 26, orders were received to strike tents. At 2 P. M., 
Companies A, D, E, G, H, I and K, with the band, re-embarked 
on the steamer Boston, and Companies B, C and F on board steamer 
Marion. Every preparation was made for a move of the expedition, 
but the vessels remained at anchor. Heavy firing was heard in the 
direction of Savannah. The rebel Fort McAllister being in sight 
of the fieet, the gunboats moved up the river and opened fire upon 
it with shell. The enemy could be seen, by the aid of a field glass, 
working their guns. The firing toward Savannah was again heard 
on the 27th. The gunboats continued to operate upon the works 
on Savannah and Wilmington Rivers. Formidable obstructions, 
however, prevented a nearer approach to the city of Savannah. 

Com. Dupont, in his flagship Wabash, arrived, from Hilton Head, 



8631 



CAPTURE OF FORT CLINCH AND FERNANDINA 



103 



on February 28, 1862, and transferred his flag to the smaller war 
vessel, the Mohican. The fleet, consisting of twenty armed vessels 




OBSTKUCTIONS IN SAVANNAH KIVEK. 

and eleven transports, put to sea at 4 P. M., the object being the 
occupation of portions of the coast of Georgia and Florida. 

On March 1, Corp. Joseph M. Lewis, of Company C, died of 
ship fever, of which he had been ill since February 25. He was 
buried at sea. 

On Sunday, March 2, sighted land, and at 8 A. M. passed near 
the lighthouse on the north end of Cumberland Island, Ga., and en- 
tered St. Andrew's Sound. The gunboats in advance sent a party 
ashore to hoist the stars and stripes upon Cumberland Island Light- 
house. At 12 M., the fleet anchored until the morning of the 3d, 
when the light draft gunboats and transports passed along St. An- 
drew's Sound towards St. Mary's River. The larger vessels passed 
down the coast to enter the St. Mary's River at Fort Clinch. These 
came to anchor, outside the bar, at the mouth of St. Mary's River, 
at 4.30 P. M. 

Early on the morning of the 4th, the fleet again got under 
weigh, passed the bar, entered the river within range of the enemy's 
guns, at Fort Clinch, but encountered no opposition, the enemy 
having evacuated the fort during the previous night without having 
fired a shot to dispute the entrance of the fleet. Most of the 
vessels passed up the river and came to anchor opposite the old 
town of Fernandina. The inhabitants had abandoned both that and 
the larger town of New Fernandina, a mile farther up the river. 
The exodus had been made in great haste, leaving tents and bag- 
gage behind, the houses and stores being filled with furniture, 
goods, etc. A few had managed to secure some of their eff'ects by 
carrying them away during the night upon the railroad. A loaded 
train, just moving oiF, was stopped by a well-directed shot from the 
gunboats, which killed two men. A small rebel coasting steamer, 



104 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. [March, 

the Darlington, was also captured, after a chase up the river by two 
armed boats, under Com. Rogers, of the navy. She was loaded 
with women and children, mules, forage and other stores. The 
town of St. Mary's, Ga., on the St. Mary's River, opposite to and 
distant ten miles from Fernandina, was also captured by Com. 
Rogers, on the Ottawa, on the afternoon of March 5. 

Fernandina was occupied by Gen. Wright's forces, the 97th P. 
v., being the first regiment to land and establish the picket force, 
having been on shipboard forty-four days, less ten days on Warsaw 
Island. The picket force of the 97th, in exploring beyond the line 
established, came upon a masked battery that had covered the re- 
treat of the rebels toward Harrison's Landing. Two guns were 
captured and brought in. The 4th New Hampshire was detailed 
as patrol guard to prevent pillage. The 9th Maine occupied a 
position adjoining the camp of the 97th P. V., on the inland side 
of the city. 

Many negroes had remained and a few of the white residents, 
principally of northern origin. Such of the houses as had bedn 
abandoned were occupied, by order of the commanding general, as 
head-quarters of the command and its departments, and lor quarters 
of officers attached to the expedition. Gen. Wright occupied the 
house of late United States Senator Yulee, near the centre of the 
town. Maj. Z. K. Pangborn, paymaster U. S. Vols., occupied Gov. 




FORT CLINCH. 



Broome's house. Fort Clinch, situated at the mouth of the St. 
Mary's River, was garrisoned by Company E, 1st N. Y. Vol. En- 
gineers, with Capt. Alfred F. Sears as constructing engineer, under 
whose superintendence the work of completing and strengthening 
the fort was at once commenced. 

While at Fernandina, the usual camp duties were performed by 
the Regiment, and a detail for outside picket furnished, in turn, 



1862.] CAPTURE OP JACKSONVILLE, MAYPORT AND ST. AUGUSTINE. 105 

with the other regiments of the brigade. Company and regimental 
drill and dress parade, as usual. 

A fleet of six gunboats, with the Ith New Hampshire, under 
command of Col. Whipple, left Fernandina, on the 8th, and, on 
March 12, captured the towns of Jacksonville and Mayport, on the 
St. John's River, and St. Augustine, on the coast, aU in Florida. 
The rebels hastily evacuated those places on the approach of the 
gunboats, setting fire to the mills and lumber at the former places, 
by which a large amount of very valuable material was destroyed. 
A few negroes and citizens remained, but the larger number either 
fled voluntarily or were forced to leave by the enemy. 

On March 9, Company A, with a detachment of cavalry, made 
a scout to Harrison's Landing, about ten miles distant, near the 
centre of the island, but found no sign of the enemy. 

On March 12, 1862, the Regiment was paid byMaj Z. K. Pang- 
born, paymaster U. S. Vols., to include December 31, 1861, being 
the first payment received. It was made at Gov. Broome's house, 
one company marching up at a time. 

On March 12, Brunswick and Darien, two hamlets on St. Simon's 
Sound, Ga., were captured by a portion of the fleet despatched from 
Fernandina, on the 8th. 

On March 24, the 97th was sent to reinforce the troops at Jack- 
sonville, embarking, at 10 A. M., upon the steamer Cosmopolitan, 
leaving the 9th Maine to garrison Fernandina, where it remained 
for nearly a year. A few sick men of the 97th were left in the 
hospital in charge of the surgeon of the 9th Maine. One of these, 
Corp. John L. Morton, of Company I, died, of typhoid fever, on 
March 28, and Harry Hunter, musician, of Company I, died, in the 
general hospital, at Hilton Head, S. C, of chronic diarrhoea, April 
1, 1862. 

The Cosmopolitan, with Gen, H. G. Wright and staff and the 
97th Regiment, on board, arrived at Jacksonville at 5 P. M. on the 
24th. Slight opposition was encountered from rebel sharp-shooters, 
posted on the bluffs on the banks of the river, but a few shell from 
the gunboats soon drove them off. Upon landing, the troops were 
quartered in storehouses and other large buildings that were found 
unoccupied, the 97th being at the corner of Bayard and Orange 
Streets, in a large warehouse. 

The citizens reported a heavy force of rebels in the vicinity of 
the city and seemed apprehensive of their return. A strong picket 



106 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. [March, 

force was advanced about half a mile beyond the town, and a line 
of earthworks established, upon which the troops were engaged for 
several days in completing and strengthening to guard against as- 
' sault from a superior force. 

At midnight on the 24th, the picket guard was fired upon. One 
man of the 4th New Hampshire was killed and one wounded, by 
a party of rebels attacking one of the outposts, also capturing five 
men of the 4th New Hampshire. The advance of the enemy was 
checked by the return fire, their loss being one killed and two 
taken prisoners. On the 25th, escaping contrabands coming in 
reported the rebel forces within two miles of the picket lines. 
Several rebel deserters came in during the night of the 25th. On 
the 28th, pickets of the 97th fired upon rebel cavalry scouts. On 
same day, details of axemen went out to cut down the timber to 
prevent rebels approaching the position under cover, an armed 
force being sent in advance to protect the choppers from the rebel 
sharp-shooters. On the 29th, the rebels advanced in force to re- 
connoitre. The advance guard and the wood-choppers came in from 
the front. Gen. Wright's forces were held in readiness for the 
attack, but the rebels did not seem ready to come within reach of 
the gunboats. Afterward, under a flag of truce, a rebel colonel 
several times came into the hnes, and was sent to head-quarters, 
where he remained several hours and then passed out again, being 
escorted in and out by a guard. The first time was on March 30; 
again on April 1 and 2. It was reported that his object in coming 
was to have the women and children sent out of town previous to 
an attack upon the place. Great indignation was felt and mani- 
fested, by many of the ofiicers and men, that a rebel officer should 
be permitted to pass and repass through the Union lines and forces 
to head-quarters, repeatedly, giving ample opportunity lor acquiring 
information as to the strength and position. Frequent allusions to 
the army regulations in respect to flags of truce, and the prO' 
ceedings proper to be observed in regard to them, were heard pasS' 
ing between the men, who knew what those requirements and prO' 
priety should dictate, A due regard for their own observance o: 
these regulations prevented a summary stop being put to the irrega 
larity ; otherwise, the pickets were ready to keep the rebel colonel 
on his own side of the line. 

On March 30, Companies A and C of the 97th, under command 
of Capt. F. M. Guss, with an aid of Gen. Wright, went out to le- 



1863.] EVACUATION OF JACKSONVILLE. 107 

connoitre the position of the enemy. They advanced three miles 
beyond the picket lines, but met only small parties of rebel scouts, 
who kept at a safe distance. They returned to their quarters at 
sunset. 

At Jacksonville, on April 3, 1862, Private Joseph Yocum, of 
Company A, died, of congestive fever, and was buried on the 4th in 
a church burial ground in the outskirts of the city. 

On Sunday, April 6, the Cosmopolitan arrived at Jacksonville, 
from Hilton Head, bringing the convalescent members of the Regi- 
ment left at that place in January; also regimental baggage, horses 
ambulances, etc. About twenty recruits for the Eegiment arrived 
•and were assigned to Companies I and K. 

By the arrival of the steamer CosmopoUtan, information that Gen. 
T. W. Sherman had been relieved of the command of the Depart- 
ment of the South, March 31, by Maj. Gen. David Hunter, was 
received, with orders to Gen. "Wright to evacuate Jacksonville. 
Accordingly, during the night of April 7, the troops not on duty, 
and many of the citizens, were embarked on board the transports 
Cosmopolitan and Belvidere and the schooner Magnum Bonum, 
belonging to Mr. John Forrest, sutler of the 97th. These vessels 
were crowded to their utmost capacity. During the preparations 
for evacuating. Private Miles, of Company E, one of the hospital 
attendants, having had unusual facilities for testing the quality of 
the hospital stores, while packing up, became extremely hilarious, 
and meeting Gen. Wright upon the street accosted him, and with 
great familiarity expressed his opinion in regard to the movement, 
saying, " General, I thought you'd have to vaceate," which freedom 
the general promptly rewarded by an order for an escort for Private 
Miles to safe quarters under guard. Miles subsided under protest, 
giving vent to still further opinions in regard to military affairs in 
general and this one in particular. " General, I thought you'd have 
to vaceate," remained a familiar expression in camp for a long time. 

At 1 P. M., on the 8th, the outer line of pickets was withdrawn, 
at dusk the inner lines were brought in and all embarked on board 
the transports, which remained at anchor until next morning, the 
9th. The wharf was then crowded with citizens; among them ap- 
peared some rebel soldiers, conspicuous with whom was observed 
the colonel of flag-of-truce notoriety. There was no demonstration 
of attack; but, as the vessels moved off in the morning, many 
exasperating expressions were heard. The men w^re almost ready 



108 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. l^pnh 

to discharge a parting salute of ball cartridge at the colonel and 
some of the demonstrative rebels on shore, but no such indiscretion 
occurred. 

In passing down the river, the gunboats threw a few shell into 
the woods at the bluffs, where the rebels had fired upon the vessels 
in coming up, to prevent danger from the repetition, the transports 
being now so crowded as to present sure marks for rebel rifles. 

At 2 P. M., came to anchor at the mouth of the St. .John's River, 
the weather being too rough to cross the bar with vessels so 
crowded. On the 10th, it being more favorable, the transports 
started, arriving safely at Fernandina at sunset. The Regiment 
landed and encamped near Gov. Broome's house. On April 11,' 
Lieut. Evans, of Company A, was temporarily assigned to the com- 
mand of Company C, on account of the illness of Lieut. Griffith 
and the absence of Capt. Price on recruiting service. 

On April 13, 1862, Gen. Wright's forces returned to Hilton 
Head, S. C, leaving five companies of the 4th New Hampshire and 
the 9th Maine to occupy Fort Clinch and Fernandina, the remain- 
ing companies of the 4th New Hampshire being at St. Augustinfe, 
Fla. The 97th embarked in the steamer Cosmopolitan, arrived at 
Hilton Head, at sunset on the 13th, anchored for the night in the 
harbor, landed on the 14th and encamped near the west sally port 
of the intrenchments. The men were allowed a day to clean and 
fix up arms, accoutrements, clothing, etc. The regular duties and 
drills were then resumed, the usual detail for post, picket, guard 
and fatigue duty being made daily. 

Peter O'Neil, a private of Company E, died in the hospital, at 
Hilton Head, of typhoid fever, April 11. He was buried in the 
national cemetery, outside the intrenchments. 

On April 17, a guard of fifty men, of Company C, was detailed 
to conduct the rebel prisoners, taken at Fort Pulaski, from the 
provost guard quarters to the New York steamer. 

On the 18th, the Regiment was paid by Maj. Julian O. Mason, 
at Hilton Head, to include February 28, 1862. 

At this time, 2d Lieut. A. N. Morton, of Company I, who had 
resigned on account of physical disability, left for home. Four 
men of the Regiment were also discharged on the same account. 

The additional recruits received for Companies I and K had not 
yet advanced the aggregate sufficiently to allow of the muster of 
Capts. Hawkins .and Wayne, nor had Col. Guss yet obtained his 



1863] OCCUPATION OF JAMES ISLAND. 109 

muster. This fact being brought to the notice of Gen. Hunter, 
he directed the immediate muster of those ofl&cers by the following 
letter to Gen. H. G. Wright, commanding division: 

Head-Quarters 1st District, Dept. South, 
Hilton Head, S. C, April 19, 1862. 
General: The commanding general, being informed that Col. 
Guss, with his non-commissioned regimental staff, two principal 
musicians and company officers of two companies of the 97th P. V., 
with Capt. G. W. Hawkins, of Company I (if not included above), 
have not been- mustered into service. By direction of Gen. Hunter, 
he wishes you to muster those parties into the service of the United 
States, from the date the Regiment was ordered into the field or 
from the date of their joining the same if subsequent thereto. 
Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

H. W. Benham, Brig. Gen. 
[Signed] A. B. Ely, A. A. A. G. 

Gol. Guss was accordingly mustered, by Gen; Wright, to rank 
from July 25, 1861; Capt. Hawkins, from October 29, 1861; Capt. 
Wayne, from November 16, 1861, and the non-commissioned regi- 
mental staff to rank from October 29, 1861. 

Preparatory to the first advance against Charleston, S. C, Gen. 
Wright was ordered, by Gen'. Hunter, to occupy North Edisto 
Island, S. C. 

The 97th Regiment struck tents on April 19, marched to the 
wharf and embarked on the steamer Delaware. Several sick men 
were sent to the general hospital at Hilton Head. Left the harbor 
at 1 P. M. and came to anchor in Edisto River at 7 P. M. Landed 
on North Edisto Island, at noon on the 20th, encamping about a 
quarter of a mile from the landing. The 55th P. V. occupied the 
field adjoining, having previously arrived. Each company of that 
regiment served the corresponding company of the 97th with coffee, 
a favor mutually reciprocated whenever an opportunity presented. 
After getting the camp established, and the tents well shaded by 
green boughs and palmetto leaves laid upon supporting poles, the 
troops were again regularly and efficiently drilled in company and 
battalion movements. Gen. H. G. Wright, inspected, reviewed and 
mustered for pay the regiments of his command on April 30, 1862. 
Gen. H. W. Benham, commanding the northern district of the de- 
partment, also reviewed the 97th Regiment on May 5. 



110 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. [May, 

At North Edisto, on May 2, 1862, the following officers having 
resigned and being honorably discharged, for disability, left the 
Regiment and returned to their homes, viz.: Capt. Jesse L. Cum- 
mins, Company G; 1st Lieuts. Emmor G. Griffith, Company C; 
John H. Babb, Company E, and Thomas S. Taylor, Company H. 
George W. Myers, a member of the band, and Privates Albert P. 
Painter and Edward H. Taylor, of Company H, being discharged, 
on account of physical disability, returned at the same time. Myers 
died soon after reaching home. Corp. B, L. Kent, "of Company C, 
was detailed to accompany Lieut. Griffith to his home, he being so 
much prostrated as to require constant attention. On May 26, 2d 
Lieut. James Hughes, of Company B, resigned and returned home 
on account of ill health. Twelve enlisted men of the Regiment, 
having been discharged, on surgeon's certificate of disability, re- 
turned at the same time. During the month of May, Companies B, 
G, H, I and K each lost a man by death, from typhoid fever, at the 
United States general hospital, at Hilton Head. Two men also 
died, of typhoid fever, at North Edisto: Jacob Lawrence, of Com- 
pany A, on the 16 th, and Elias H. Smith, of Company F, on the 
30th. Both were buried in the ground attached to an Episcopal 
church about four miles distant from the camp. 

On May 29, Companies A, B and C were detailed as cover to 
the engineers while erecting a wharf, on John's Island, opposite to 
Edisto, for the landing of troops, artillery, etc., preparatory to the 
advance. The men were in light marching order, with two days' 
cooked rations in haversacks. They marched about three miles 
from the landing and established a picket line. Gen. Wright ac- 
companied the advance. Cavalry scouts of the enemy were seen 
observing the movements, but they did not advance very closely to 
the lines. 

On May 30, Companies A, B and C, on duty on John's Island, 
were relieved by Companies F, G and I of the 97th, the former 
returning to camp on Edisto. The latter companies remained on 
duty until the 31st, being then relieved by three companies of the 
6th Connecticut. 

On May 31, the 76th P. V. arrived at North Edisto and was at- 
tached to Gen. Wright's Brigade. 



1862.] 



JAMES ISLAND. 



Ill 



CHAPTER IV. 

General Hunter's Advance toward Charleston; Campaign 
UPON James Island; Action at Grimball's Plantation and 
Secessionville, S. C; June, 1862. 




EEPARATIONS having been completed for the ad- 
vance toward Charleston, on June 2, Gen. Hunter 
ordered the troops upon North Edisto to cross the 
river preliminary to the march across John's Island. 
Gen. Wright was now placed in command of the 
entire force. The brigade packed up all extra bag- 
gage and clothing, and left most of the tents, etc., 
with a small detail of men, chiefly convalescents, at 
the camp of the 97th, under command of Capt. Mc- 
Connell, of Company E. One of the sick left at Edisto, Private 
Samuel Drake, of Company D, died of climatic fever, June 8, and 
was buried at Fort Edisto, by the 55th P. V. which remained there 
on garrison duty. The troops crossed the Edisto, on that day, on 
lighters and small transports and then marched three miles to Live 
Oak Point, where they 
encamped for the night. 
The 97th P. V., then 
numbering eight hun- 
dred and forty men fit 
for duty, crossed the 
river in the rebel steam- 
boat Planter, which had 
been run out of Charles- 
ton Harbor, a few days 
previously, by her pilot, 
Robert Small, a colored 
man, with a colored crew of eight men. He had contrived to get 
his family on board the evening previous and then started his 




THE PLANTER. 



112 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. [-^"le, 

steamer on a desperate attempt to pass under the guns of Fort 
Sumter, which he accomplished in safety, by giving the usual 
signals, which deceived the enemy. He was now its commander, 
and his boat engaged in transport duty. 

The march to Live Oak Point was during the heat of a day un- 
usually sultry. Many of the men threw away clothing, blankets, 
etc., and several were quite overcome by the heat. A man of the 
76th P. V. was reported to have fallen dead by the way. Com- 
panies B and C of the 97th were detailed for picket and went on 
duty at sunset. 

During the morning of the 3d, before being relieved from picket. 
Company B, was fired upon several times by rebel cavalry scouting 
parties. Gen. Wright had sent out some cavalry, the evening 
before, to reconnoitre, but the rebel scouts kept well out of the 
way until after the return of the cavalry to camp. The forces not 
having all crossed the river on the 2d, the march was not resumed 
on the morning of the 3d, and was still further delayed by heavy 
rain. While visiting the pickets, on the 3d, Lieut. Col. Duer, get- 
ting rather beyond the line, had a narrow chance of capture by a 
party of about forty rebel .cavalry scouts passing along a road cross- 
ing the one taken by Lieut. Col. Duer, arriving at the junction 
a few minutes after he passed on his way back to the lines. This 
cavalry force was constantly engaged in watching the movement, 
during the march, keeping just beyond rifle range. 

On the 4th, the troops were arranged in the order in which they 
were to march in column and every preparation made for the ad- 
vance. But the continued rain prevented marching, and also made 
it very uncomfortable for the men, who had no other shelter than 
gum blankets. 

By daylight on the 5 th, the march commenced, though the rain 
was unabated. It continued through most of the day. The roads 
were very muddy and cut up by the artillery and cavalry. Marched 
fourteen miles to Legareeville, on the Stono River, which was 
reached at 3 P. M., just as the rain ceased. The troops occupied 
the deserted houses of that place, where the men were soon engaged 
in preparing coffee, drying their saturated clothing and making 
themselves comfortable as possible after their tiresome, disagreeable 
march. 

At Legareeville, on the evening of June 5, 1862, Capt, Price, of 
Company C, Lieut. S. Morton, of Company I, and their men, re- 



1862] EECONNOISSANCE ON JOHN's ISLAND. 113 

joined the Regiment from recruiting service. Capt. Price resumed 
the command of his company. Lieut. Evans, temporarily in com- 
mand of Company C, returned to duty in Company A. 

On June 6, continued rain prevented further movements. On 
the 7th, the 97th Regiment, with, two companies of the 1st Massa- 
chusetts Cavalry, under the command of Col. H. R. Guss, made a 
reconnoissance toward the main land, on the left of the advance, to 
ascertain the position and strength of the enemy in that direction. 
After marching about seven miles, the rebel pickets were encoun- 
tered and, after a brisk skirmish, driven from their position, leaving 
two prisoners, with their horses, arras, accoutrements, etc., in our pos- 
session. The men had marched rapidly and eagerly, keeping well 
up Virith the cavalry. When the enemy was encountered, Com- 
panies A and B were advanced as skirmishers. Company A on the 
right, under command of Capt. F. M. Guss, and Company B on the 
left, under command of Capt. W. B. McCoy. These companies 
made a rapid rout of the enemy's pickets, capturing the two 
prisoners who failed to evade the line of skirmishers thrown across 
the road by which they sought to escape. Our loss was as follows; 
Private Robert L. Black, Company A, wounded through the right 
arm, and Corp. William Deisem, of Company B, in the left knee. 

One of the cavalry horses, shot in the foot, had to be killed. The 
97th advanced half a mile further, the skirmishers being kept out 
on the right and left of the road. Upon arriving near to a bridge, 
over a stream separating from the main land or another island, a 
masked battery was discovered, on the other side, which commanded 
the bridge and causeway leading to it. To ascertain the position 
and availability of this crossing was part of the object of the re- 
connoissance. This was accomplished', as far as possible, without 
assaulting the position, which, without artillery and direct orders, 
could not be attempted. As night was at hand. Col. Guss set out 
to return to Legareeville with his command and prisoners. It soon 
became very dark. A heavy storm, with violent thunder, lightning 
and rain, rendered the march both difficult and dangerous. Reached 
quarters at 9.30 P. M. Col. Guss reported to Gen. Wright the 
result of his reconnoissance and received the thanks of that officer 
for the promptness and success of his operations. 

The gunboats had moved up the Stono River to Wappoo Creek 
and shelled the enemy from their position on James Island, about 
May 20, being unsupported by the land force, delayed by lack of 
8 



114 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. [June, 

transportation, necessitating the march across John's Island, which 
was still further delayed by continued heavy rains. The landing 
of Gen Stevens' division, on James Island, on June 8, was fol- 
lowed by Gen. Wright's command, on the 9th; the 6th Connec- 
ticut and 97th P. V. being on the same transport, crossing from 
LegareeviUe to the landing. A large balloon had been observed 
for some hours, in process of being filled, near what was afterwards 
known as Stevens' Landing. It was intended for use in observing 
the position and movements of the enemy, but it was not made 
available to any very useful extent in the department. 

Gen. Wright occupied a position at Grimball's Plantation, his 
head-quarters being in the Grimball mansion, his command en- 
camped in close proximity thereto, the 97th P. V. occupying the 
river bank on the right of the landing. The tents and baggage of 
the Regiment, left at Edisto, had been ordered forward, but did not 
arrive until a few days later. When Gen. Wright's command 
moved over from John's to James Island, Companies G and H of 
the 97th, one company of the 1st Massachusetts Cavalry, under 
command of the lamented Capt. Manlius Sargent, and one section of 
Capt. Hamilton's Battery, with two guns, were left at LegareevUle, 
imder command of Lieut. Col. A. P. Duer, of the 97th P. V. 

The position was one of considerable importance, it being neces- 
sary to prevent the enemy from gaining access to the river side, in 
rear of the transports and supplies, the buildings of the town 
affording opportunity of concealment and shelter to a hostile force. 

Two gunboats, the Helen, commanded by Lieut. Harris, and the 
Norwich, commanded by Capt. Jesse Duncan, were assigned to cover 
the land force at LegareeviUe. 

A constant and careful watch was kept, by Lieut. Col. Duer's 
command, upon the movements of the rebels on John's Island, and 
several reconnoissances were made to ascertain the position and 
strength of the enemy, whose cavalry scouts were to be seen con- 
stantly on the alert, watching every movement. 

Shortly previous to the evacuation of James Island, this command 
was ordered to join the main force upon that island. A small steam 
transport was sent to embark the troops. In the evening, the guns 
and baggage were placed on board, and the force moved to the ex- 
treme point of the penmeulo , to be ready for embarkation at the 
early morning tide, the picket line outside the town remaining 
in position. The watchfulness of the enemy had detected this 



^^^2] OCCUPATION OF JAMES ISLAND. 115 

movement, and, about midnight, an attack was skillfully made by 
them, silently marching on the Stono River beach, vs^hich was 
deemed impassable, owing to its swampy condition. A charge was 
made in the rear of the picket line upon the town, and was a per- 
fect surprise to the picket force, which retreated to the cover of 
the houses. The command lying near the boat was rapidly and 
quietly roused from their sleep and put under arms in a manner 
that reflected great credit upon their drill and commanding ofiicers. 
A portion of the force remained in charge of the boat, which was 
aground, while the main force made an advance in skirmish parties 
upon the rebels in the town, from which, after considerable firing, 
they were driven. Several small arms were captured, but the 
wounded were removed by the retreating foe under cover of the 
night. In the morning, the command embarked and joined the 
main force on James Island. 

The forces of 'S^rGen. Isaac Ingalls Stevens having landed on 
James Island, about two miles nearer the mouth of Stono iCiver 
than Gen. Wright's position. Gen. Stevens had advanced his lines 
with his right flank resting upon the inlet which separates James 
from Cole Island, extending his left towards Gen. Wright's position, 
joining the right of the latter near the edge of a swamp that par- 
tially separated the two positions. 

Gen. Wright's line extended on the left to a point on the Stono 
River, about a mile above the landing, a bend in the river affording 
ample protection to his left flank and rear, the picket line being 
on an average near one and a half miles from the river. The enemy 
was found to be strongly intrenched near Secessionville, about two 
and a half miles in front of our right and centre, and had obstructed, 
at all advantageous points, the approaches toward the city of 
Charleston, in front of our left. The enemy's guns, at Tower Bat- 
tery, near Secessionville, covered our entire position, several shot 
having been thrown over the camp into the river during, the landing 
of the troops, and occasionally over the tents during the occupancy 
of the island, but the gunboats soon got the range of the battery 
and kept their guns quiet. A strong line of earthworks was imme- 
diately thrown up just outside the camp lines of each division. 
Preparations were also made for mounting Parrott guns of sufficient 
\ power to reach the enemy's batteries. The fleet, meanwhile, kept 
the enemy from interfering materially with these operations. 

The OTth was detailed for picket on the evening of June 9, after 



116 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. tJ"ie, 

landing on James Island, went to the front at sunset and occupied 
the right of the line adjoining Gen. Stevens' left. The line being 
established considerably in advance of the position held by the force 
that was being relieved, upon ground where rebel cavalry scouts 
had been observed, the afternoon previous, watching the landing of 
the troops from the shelter aiforded by woods and the dense growth 
of hedges skirting the fields. 

The rebel batteries shelled the lines during the night, but there 
was no advance made upon the position nor were any of the men 
wounded by the shell. A casualty, however, occurred in Company 
A, 1st Sergt. Thomas E. Weber being wounded, in both thighs, 
by a shot from one of the men of Company D, who had been placed, 
under a misapprehension of the line, in an unauthorized position, 
in the rear of Company A. 

On the morning of June 10, the rebels threw a few shell from 
Tower Battery into Gen. Stevens' lines, and, at about 2 P. M., com- 
menced shelling the line of pickets in front of Gen. Wright, the 
position occupied by the 97th P. V. The men remained steady at 
their posts, under a terrific storm of shell from the rebel works, one 
shell exploding in the camp of the Regiment, but only a few men 
being in camp no one was injured. Indications of a contemplated 
attack by the rebels were observed, by the pickets of the 97th, 
during the morning. About noon, rebel skirmishers, seen cautiously 
crawling under cover of the high grass and chaparral toward the 
lines, were fired upon and driven back. About 4 P. M., the 
pickets of the 47th New York, posted next on the left of the 97th 
P. v., were suddenly surprised by the advance of the enemy 
through the woods. An advanced outpost of fifteen men of that 
regiment, stationed at the edge of the wood, gave the signal of the 
approach by firing a volley and continued firing as they fell back 
upon a portion of the reserve, stationed at another angle of the 
wood, on a line with the main portion of the picket line. This 
force consisted of Company D, 47th New York, with portions of 
Companies I and H, of the 45th P. V. and Companies B and F, of 
the 97th P. V. 

The rebels advanced confidently through the woods, evidently 
with intention of capturing that portion of the line, with its re- 
serve. But the men emptied their cartridge boxes on the ground 
before them and, lying down, opened a continuous fire upon the ad- 
vancing foe, maintained their position, the rebels coming to withiD 



1863.] ACTIOX AT GRIMBALL's PLANTATION, JAMES ISLAND. 117 

ten yards of them. This determined resistance caused the enemy 
to fall back with heavy loss, removing many of their wounded. 
In the meantime, the main body of the picket reserve force, stationed 
about two hundred yards in rear of the centre of the line under 
command of Col. H. R. Guss, who was also in command of the 
entire picket force, was, by that officer, promptly moved up to the 
support of the troops already engaged. The left of Company C, on 
the picket line, occupied a position which, after the 47th New 
York had been driven in by the rebels, was exposed to the rebel 
fire in the rear, and liability to capture, at any moment of advan- 
tage on the part of the enemy. Capt. Price withdrew the portion 
of his company thus exposed, leaving the remainder to occupy 
the position not endangered, from which the other portion of the 
line could be observed and guarded. With the men thus with- 
drawn, Capt. Price joined Col. Guss as he advanced into action. 

The firing having ceased for about twenty minutes, after the first 
repulse of the enemy, was suddenly resumed. Two rebel regiments, 
which proved to be the 47th Georgia and a Louisiana regiment, 
under command of Col. Williams, of the 47th Georgia, having ad- 
vanced cautiously through the wood, renewed the attack with great 
vigor. Col. Guss had advanced his reserve during the first attack, 
under a heavy fire, his left had joined the line of forces already en- 
gaged, then swinging his right around, by a change of front, for- 
ward, the left standing fast, he formed an angle enclosing the 
corner of the wood in which the enemy was sheltered. He delibe- 
rately arranged his forces for battle, riding up and down the line in 
front of his men, urging them to observe steadiness and coolness, 
upon which their success depended. His example was electric in 
its effect, and when the command to fire was given, the flashing 
guns seemed like the voice of a torrent irresistible in force, for the 
men were rendered cool and brave by the coolness and bravery of 
their commander^himself in the thickest of the danger. 

The fire being inward from two lines of an angle, made a raking 
cross fire upon the position of the enemy, rendering the trees no 
protection. The engagement occupied nearly two hours, hotly con- 
tested on both sides. No battle field during the war has been the 
scene of more tenacious, determined and gallant fighting than en- 
sued on the part of our men. From the peculiarity of the country, 
abounding in thick underbrush, the enemy were enabled to keep 
well under cover, while our men were obliged to hunt them from 



118 HISTOET OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. f"'^""'^' 

their hiding places or wait for uncertain glimpses through the 
dense undergrowth in the wood, themselves exposed to an almost 
unobstructed fire. Notwithstanding these disadvantages, the men 
fought Hke veterans, standing up before the enemy's galling 
musketry without wavering. 

A portion of Company E, 3d U. S. Artillery, commanded by 
Capt. Hamilton, of that company, with a section of artillery, had, 
at the commencement of the attack, taken position at an elevated 
point, where it made some splendid shots, rendering effective 
service. The gunboats also sent some heavy shot and shell crashing 
through the wood, cutting off trees and limbs, which served to 
render the position of the rebels still more precarious. After un- 
successfully charging upon several points of the line, the enemy 
gave up the attempt to drive us from our position. The rebel 
commander withdrew his forces with precipitation, leaving seventeen 
dead upon the field. Eight wounded were also brought off the field 
and tenderly cared for by the surgeons and their attendants. The 
wounded prisoners reported that many of their killed and wounded 
had been carried off the field during the action. Two of their 
number afterward died. One was a captain of the 47th Georgia 
regiment, a brother of the colonel commanding. He was struck by 
seven shot, and died the day after the action. The rebel dead were 
buried where they fell by the men. Our loss, in killed and wounded, 
during the action, was as follows: killed. Private Henry Dunn, 
Company B, shot in left breast; Corp. Edward Corcoran, Company 
E, shot in forehead; Private George E. Wright, Company F, shot 
in neck; wounded: Corp. David H. Birney, Company B, in both 
legs ; Privates George AV. "Wonderly, Company B, right breast and 
left arm amputated ; Samuel J. Day, Company B, forehead and left 
wrist; Benjamin English, Company B, right hip; Henry W. Martin, 
Company B, forehead; George McNelley, Company B, left side; 
Daniel Sullivan, Company E, head; Hugh Hale, Company F, dislo- 
cated ankle; Lewis Miller, Company K, left knee; Henry B. 
Thomas, Company K, left arm and left side; Isaac Harper, Com- 
pany K, left thigh ; William C. Lewis, Company K, right foot. 

The 47th Georgia was the same that met the 8th Michigan at 
Wilmington Island, on April 19, 1862, and which proved itself at 
that time to be an organization equal to any in the rebel service. 

During the action. Gen. Wright's entire force was drawn up, in 
line of battle, a quarter of a mile in rear of the position occupied 



1862.] ACTION- AT GRIMBALL'S PLANTATION, JAMES ISLAND. 119 

by the artillery, a commanding point for a general engagement, it 
being supposed that the force engaged would be compelled to fall 
back to a more secure position. After the action, the line of 
pickets was re-established. It being nearly dark whei; the eneiny 
retired, it was not deemed advisable to follow their retreat into 
forests and swamps that furnished such ample opportunities for 
ambuscade. 

The following extracts from the published accounts, furnished by 
the Chester County Times, may be of interest to preserve as part of 
the record: 

'•'•The Ninety-seventh heard from! Gallant repulse of the eneiny! 
Charleston, S. C, is the cradle of the rebellion, and as such the sol- 
dier who has taken part in its approach, siege, capture or reduction 
is entitled to our highest gratitude and praise. Within a few miles 
of that city, having marched overland from Edisto, through an un- 
known hostile country, constructing bridges, removing obstructions 
and fording creeks, is Gen. Wright's brigade, of which Col. Guss' 
Regiment constitutes a part. Scarcely a letter did we receive from 
our Chester County boys in which they did not express a hope of 
distinguishing themselves for true valor and grit. The chance has 
been vouchsafed them, attended by an overwhelming victory. We 
are at this writing enabled to produce the following extracts from 
newspaper correspondence : 

"After describing the action, as already detailed, the New York 
Herald correspondent says: ' * * * I think no battle field of 
this war has been the scene of more tenacious, determined and gal- 
lant fighting than ensued on the part of our men. From the pecu- 
liarity of the country, which abounds in all portions with thick 
underbrush, the enemy were enabled to keep themselves under 
cover, while our men were obliged either to hunt them from their 
hiding places or wait for uncertain glimpses through the dense shrub- 
bery. Notwithstanding these disadvantages our men behaved like 
veterans, standing up before the enemy's galling fire of musketry 
without wavering or wincing. * * * The fire of our troops 
was most effective. After charging wildly at all points of the line, 
the rebel commander gave up the attempt and his forces fell back 
in hotter haste than they came up. * * * Col. Guss, of the 
97th Pennsylvania, who had command of our forces during the 
fight, rode gallantly up and down the line encouraging his men, and 
though prominently exposed, in the thickest of the fight, escaped 



120 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. f''^"°*' 

without harm. There were numerous other hair-breadth escapes, 
to be accounted for only by the fact that the fire was so rapid and 
the smoke, in consequence, so dense as to partially keep the men 
from view. . * » * ' 

"From the New York Times: 'Our latest information from the 
division advancing toward Charleston is to the following effect: On 
Tuesday afternoon, the 10th inst., the 97th Pennsylvania, part of 
the 47th New York and two companies of the 6th Connecticut were 
attacked, at a point distant three miles from Gen. Stevens' position, 
by a large force of rebels. The fight was warmly contested for over 
two hours and ended with the rout of the rebels, with loss as fol- 
lows: seventeen killed, six prisoners and about thirty wounded. 
The killed were buried by our troops. Our losses were three killed 
and thirteen wounded of the 97th Pennsylvania. The action is 
represented as having been close, but our boys fought like heroes.' 

"From the New York Tribune: 'On the 10th, there was another 
sJdrmish (the italics will be pardoned by the correspondent, we 
thought it a fight) with the enemy in front, in which the enemy, the 
attacking party, were repulsed, with slight loss on our side, say 
three or four kiUed, and a much greater loss on theirs. Our forces 
were composed of the 47th New York [two companies only] and 
the 97th Pennsylvania. Both regiments did well and each secured 
the congratulations of their friends." 

"It is interesting to notice the friendly and not unwholesome 
rivalry that exists between the corps of the different States. Take, 
as an illustration, a colloquy that took place, yesterday, between a 
New York and Pennsylvania colonel, on the subject of the battle : 
' Well, colonel, that was quite a brilliant affair.' ' Yes, the 97th 
did well.' 'The 47th, you mean.' 'No, I mean the 97th.' 'No, 
sir, you are quite mistaken ; the brunt of that action fell upon the 
47th.' 'How comes it, then, that the only men killed were those of 
the 97th Pennsylvania Regimenf?' 'Yes, that is a fact; they were 
in the reserve.' 'Odd that they should have began by attacking 
our reserves; but,' continued Pennsylvania, 'who was in command 
of our forces'? was it not Col. Guss of the 97th'?' 'Bully for you, 
colonel, you have got me there; but the 47th did nobly.' 'So they 
did, and all honor to them;' and the friendly dispute ended in a 
laugh all around." 

The 97th was relieved from picket, by the 76th P. V., on the 
evening after the action. The rebels continued to shell the lines of 



1863.] 



OPERATIONS ON JAMES ISLAND. 



121 




PICKETS ON DUTY. 



picket at intervals, 
both day and night, 
and frequently fired 
upon them stealthily, 
under cover of the 
darkness, and made 
many desperate at- 
tempts to drive them 
from their position, 
but without success, 
for the picket main- 
tained careful watch- 
fulness, often ad- 
vancing through the 
woods to observe the 
movements of the enemy, whose pickets were equally on the alert. 

The 1st New York Engineers were engaged in erecting works 
on which to mount two thirty-pound Parrott guns and one large 
James gun that had been effectively used in breaching Fort Pulaski. 
Details for this work were furnished by the 97th and other regi- 
ments. 

On the evening of June 12, Companies E, F and K of the 97th 
were detailed for outpost duty, and advanced upon a road leading 
to Charleston, reaching the junction of a road toward Wappoo Cut 
and the Stono River, about three-quarters of a mile from the estab- 
lished picket line, an outpost only having been kept up on this road. 
Capt. Lewis, of Company F, was in command of the detachment, 
with Capt. Wayne, of Company K, and Lieut. MoGrath, of Com- 
pany E. The orders were to keep a sharp lookout for the enemy, 
who was directly in front of the position, their skirmish and picket 
lines being within short musket range. Col. Spidel, of the 6th 
Connecticut Volunteers, officer of the day, in giving his instruc- 
tions, said, " the detachment has been assigned to this post of trust 
and danger because the 97th, on the 10th inst,, proved them- 
selves worthy to be placed in positions upon which depended the 
safety of the army of the South." 

His commands were, if the enemy should attack in force, to hold 
the position and keep him in check, until the whole force could be 
aroused and prepared for their reception, then to retire by the left 
close to the Stono, under cover of the gunboats, so as to leave an 



122 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. tJ""^' 

open field for the forces in the rear to meet the enemy's advance. 
Videttes were also to be placed on the right, to guard against sur- 
prise. 

At dark, a lieutenant and four men were to be sent forward 
about one hundred and fifty yards to an angle of the Charleston 
road, and to advance a picket force' across toward the Stono River 
on the other road. The wood on the right was a dense growth of 
palmetto, pine and live oak in front, while to the left it was more 
open. The enemy began to shell the position soon after it had been 
reached, at 4 P. M., but without serious effect. At dusk, Lieut. 
Wainwright, with four men, was sent to the angle of the road, 
but, before he could get his men posted, they were fired upon and 
forced to retire, Lieut. Wainwright being wounded in the thigh. 
By the enemy's firing, it was discovered they had pickets posted 
in a position to command the rear of Capt. Lewis' command. He 
then posted men in a line extending back to the main picket force, 
with orders to watch the flashing of the enemy's guns to ascertain 
the locality of their posts, and to return their fire as eff'ectually as 
possible. The main body of the command was then ordered to He 
down upon their arms in line across the road. 

The artillery and musketry firing of the enemy continued until 
near 10 P. M., when it suddenly ceased. The quiet became omi- 
nous of an attack and preparations were immediately made to re- 
ceive it. Lieut. McGrath was sent to the right, and Capt. Wayne 
to the left, to make observation of the situation. Capt. Lewis re- 
mained to hold his command in readiness to meet the enemy. While 
these arrangements were being completed, firing commenced in 
front of Company E. Some men of that company came in wounded, 
accompanied by Lieut. McGrath, who reported the enemy in force 
advancing through the palmettoes at the northwest angle of the 
road. While making his report, the enemy was upon them with a 
yell. The boys stood up to their work nobly and well, delivering 
a steady and incessant fire upon the advancing foe. The contest 
lasted about eighteen minutes, when the enemy, finding their pro- 
gress so stubbornly resisted, retired, but continued to shell the 
position, making it inadvisable to remain upon the road. The force 
was then moved back a few yards out of range and stood at arms 
until morning. Upon examining the ground over which the enemy 
had advanced, there was found every appearance of their having 
suffered severely, from the number of blood traces upon the ground 



1863] OPERATIONS ON JAMES ISLAND. 123 

and palmetto leaves. It had evidently been their purpose to sur- 
prise and capture the entire force, but in which they were most 
signally disappointed. 

The wounded, beside Lieut. Wainwright, were Sergt. R. Powell 
Fithian, Company K, left hand; Privates Charles Haslem, Com- 
pany E, in right leg, (since dead) ; Joseph Little, Company E, right 
arm, and John C. Nicholson, Company E, left side. The detach- 
ment was relieved, on the 13th, by Companies A, C, D and I of the 
97th P. V. For many nights, the men in camp were required to lie 
upon their arms, in line of battle, at the edge of the camp, to be 
ready for instant service. 

The rebel batteries continued to shell the lines, day and night. 
The picket lines, being about six hundred yards apart, also kept up 
a constant firing at the front. 

On June 14, the enemy opened their batteries quite vigorously 
upon Gen. Stevens' position. His batteries returned the fire and, 
being joined by the gunboats, the rebel guns were soon silenced. 

On June 15, Gen. Stevens' batteries shelled the rebels at Seces- 
sionvUle all day. 

After effecting the occupation of James Island, Gen. Hunter, 
realizing that an immediate advance upon Charleston was now im- 
practicable, had returned to Hilton Head, leaving Brig. Gen. Henry 
W. Benham in command, with orders to strengthen and maintain 
the position and await further orders before advancing. The enemy 
at Secessionville, under command of Col. J. G. Lamar, brought the 
guns of their batteries to bear effectually upon the Union camps, 
threatening the security of the position. Gen. Benham resolved to 
attempt an assault upon the enemy's works at that place. Accord- 
ingly, on the morning of June 16, Gen. Stevens, with the brigades 
of Cols. W. M. Fen ton and D. Leasure, moved just before dawn to 
make the assault. It had been intended to surprise the garrison, 
but it became fully daylight before the works were reached. Gen. 
Wright's force was ordered to support Gen. Stevens' attack. He 
had marched his command from camp at 2 A. M. and was in the 
position to which he was ordered, at daylight, ready to co-operate. 
The 8th Michigan and the 79th New York Highlanders, leading 
Gen. Stevens' attack, captured the enemy's pickets. They then ad- 
vanced along the narrow strip of land, the only approach to the 
works, being met by a heavy fire of musketry, grape and cannister. 
A most desperate attempt was now made by Gen. Stevens' force to 



124 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. [J""«' 

press forward and scale the earthworks. The leading regiments 
succeeded in gaining a position beyond the causeway, at the ex- 
treme right of the works, but encountering a wide ditch seven feet 
deep and parapet seven feet high, protected by abattis and with an 
impassable swamp in front and upon the left of the fort, it was 
found that the works, defended by a full garrison, whose fire was 
most effective, could not be carried by assault. Gen. Stevens' force 
finally fell back, having lost in a short time about six hundred men. 
When Gen. Stevens' attack commenced. Gen. Wright directed Col. 
Robert Williams, of the 6th Massachusetts Cavalry, commanding 
his leading brigade, to advance two of his regiments, the 3d New 
Hampshire and the 97th Pennsylvania, to support the assault. They 
dashed forward through a swamp and across the open fields in front 
of the enemy's works to a deep ditch within two hundred yards of 
the batteries. The position was gained, without casualty, under a 
heavy fire. The men at work upon the guns could be seen and by 
a well-directed fire were materially interrupted. The 97th -^^as soon 
ordered to a point on the left, close under the guns of the fort, 
having to cross another deep swamp. The sharp-shooters kept the 
enemy's guns from doing much harm. In crossing the swamp. Col. 
Guss' horse getting fast he dismounted, and in the effort to get his 
horse through came near being thrown under him in his struggles, 
but succeeded in getting safely over. The Regiment reached a 
position a little sheltered by the inequality of the ground, where it 
remained, to cover Capt. Hamilton's Battery, Company E, 3d U. S. 
Art., which had opened fire upon a rebel battery just in advance of 
our position. The men were ordered to lie down to avoid the shell 
from both sides. 

The gunboats on Stono River also opened fire upon the enemy, 
but their shell falling short dropped close to our left, exploding in 
the ground and covering the men with mud and dirt, but failed to 
cause any wavering. After three or four shell had thus threatened 
destruction to the men, the gunboats were signalled to stop firing. 
The artillery duel overhead was kept up briskly for over half an 
hour, when the enemy's guns ceased. Col. Guss then sent Capt. 
Price, with a few men, forward to examine the situation. They pro- 
ceeded cautiously into a timber slashing, on the left, a sufficient dis- 
tance to ascertain that there could be no advance of the enemy 
through it, returned and reported to Col. Guss. The Regiment was 
advanced to a point nearer the rebel position and the men again 



1862] ACTION AT SECESSION VILLE. 125 

ordered to lie down to avoid unnecessary exposure. Many of the 
men were so overcome by weariness from the arduous night march, 
as to fall into sound sleep amid the crash of shot and shell, while 
lying upon the ground awaiting orders to move. 

At this time, it was evident that Gen. Stevens' forces were un- 
able to obtain access to the works, and had suffered severe loss with- 
out advantage, although the men engaged had displayed a courage 
and determination which, under better auspices, would have secured 
success. Orders were given to withdraw the forces, measures being 
taken to bring off the killed and wounded. 

The position held by the 97th, in addition to serving as cover to 
the other forces engaged, by preventing a flank movement by the 
enemy, enabled the men to bring off all the wounded and most of 
the killed within reach. When the order was given to retire, the 
97th P. V. remained in position to cover the movement, being the 
last regiment to leave the front. Col. Guss, with his usual cool 
deliberation, marched his Regiment off the field by division front, 
moving en echelon^ in perfect order and precision, as upon battalion 
drill, eliciting the admiration of the entire command, which, having 
halted in rear of a sheltered position, had opportunity of observing 
the movement. Even the enemy must have respected the cool com- 
mander who thus led his men in order from the hotly-contested field, 
as not a gun was fired upon the Regiment after the movement com- 
menced. 

On passing to the rear of the assembled troops. Col. Guss received 
the thanks of Gen. Benham for his brilliant movements upon the 
field, and the Regiment and its officers were heartily cheered by the 
entire force as it passed to the right of the column. 

The morning after the action, Col. Robert Williams, who com- 
manded the brigade, addressed the following letter to Gov. Curtin, 
commendatory of Col. Guss and his Regiment for their part in that 
action: 

Head-Quarters, 1st Brigade, 1st Division, IOth A. C. 
Grimball's Plantation, James Island, June 17, 1862. 
To His Excellency Gov. Curtin, Harrisburg, Pa. 

Governor: I take the liberty of addressing this letter to your ex- 
cellency for the purpose of expressing to you my admiration of the 
bravery and soldierly conduct of the officers and men of the 97th 
Pennsylvania Regiment, in the battle of Secessionville, on James 



126 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. ^^^^^' 

Island, S. C, June 16, 1862. The whole Regiment, although ex- 
posed to heavy fire, behaved as well as any regiment could have 
done. To Col. Guss my thanks are particularly due, not only 'for 
the excellent manner in which he carried out my orders, but for the 
example he set to the Regiment of the greatest courage and cool- 
ness. 

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

Robert Williams, 
Colonel 1st Mass. Cav., Commanding Brigade. 

On June 24, 1862, Col. Williams also issued the following order 
of admiration and thanks to the troops of his brigade: 

Head-Quarters, James Island, S. C, 
Grimball's PlantatioNj June 24, 1862. 
Special Order ]N*o. 5. 

I. The colonel commanding desires to express to the 3d New 
Hampshire, the 3d Rhode Island and the 97th Pennsylvania Vo- 
lunteers his sincere thanks for, as well as his greatest admiration 
of, their bravery and good order during the battle of the 16 th inst. 
He feels assured that no troops could have behaved better, and that 
when they again meet the enemy their brave comrades, who have 
fallen in the glorious performance of their duties, will be duly 
avenged. 

II. The names of those officers and soldiers who have been spe- 
cially mentioned for gallantry and good conduct, during the action, 
shall be forwarded not only to the commanding general but to the 
governor of the State to which they respectively belong. * * • 

By order of Robert Williams, Act. Brig. Gen. 

[Signed] Channing Clapp, A. A. A. G. 

To Col. Guss, Commanding 97th Penna. Vols. 

Col. Williams was subsequently promoted to brigadier general 
of the United States Army, and after the war was, for several years, 
assistant adjutant general, on duty at the War Department, Wash- 
ington. 

This movement upon the enemy's works, although failing of suc- 
cess, was, in its development of the valor, discipline and courageous 
determination of the troops and officers, under a heavy and disas- 
trous fire, a most signal achievement. 



1862.] OPERATIONS ON JAMES ISLAND. 127 

The 97th P. V^had only one man wounded, Private Thomas Mc- 
intosh, Company^, in knee, and lost one man, Gabriel Spence, a 
member of the band, captured by rebel scouts, two of whom were 
taken by the Regiment during the action. The troops reached 
camp at 2 P. M., just twelve hours after leaving it. 

A commission was received, June 19, 1862, for Qr. Mr. Sergt. 
James T. Skiles as 2d lieutenant of Company B, and on the 22d 
one for Sergt. Maj. George A. Lemaistre, as 2d lieutenant of Com- 
pany H, to date from April 30, 1862. The officers named were 
duly mustered in that rank. Lieut. Lemaistre rejoined his company 
and was detailed as adjutant for detachment, by order of Lieut. Col. 
A. P. Duer, commanding at Legareeville. Corp. Samuel W. Haw. 
ley, of Company C, was promoted to sergeant major, to date from 
June 6, and, on July 1, Private George L. Taggart, of Company A, 
was promoted to quarter-master sergeant. 

During the occupancy of James Island, the 97fh Eegiment per- 
formed picket duty on June 9, 12, 13, 15, 17, 19, 21, 23, 27, 29, 
30 and July 1; also engaged in the actions of June 10 and 16, and 
furnished fatigue details of the whole or larger part of the Regi- 
ment on June 12, 19, 22 and 25. During most of the nights, 
when not at the front, the men were required to sleep upon their 
arms in the intrenchments near the camp, to be ready for instant 
service. Mosquitoes were a terrible annoyance, night and day, to 
the men on picket, the air being filled with them ; the bite, from 
which there seemed no escape, was poisonous and irritating. But, 
throughout all these privations and most arduous duties, there was 
no murmuring or shrinking from service by the men, who seemed 
to vie with each other in faithfulness and endurance. 

During these land operations, the naval force, before Charleston, 
had entered upon the bombardment of Fort Sumter and the land 
batteries on Morris and Sullivan Islands, but owing to the nature of 
the obstructions in the channels of the harbor the fleet was unable 
to come into close range, so as to concentrate a sufficient fire to 
prove effective in reducing those strongholds. After exhausting 
every available means to remove these difficulties, and to get the 
fleet into effective range, it was determined to withdraw the forces 
and await the preparation of a larger fleet, with more iron clads and 
monitors, strong enough to run in close under the guns of the 
enemy's works. This determination now suspended the active land 
operations. 



128 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. fJ^'y- 

It, therefore, became necessary to evacuate James Island, on ac- 
count of the exposure of the land force to attack by a greatly su- 
perior force of the enemy, sheltered by natural defences and in com- 
mand of approaches by which they could throw their entire force 
upon any available position, requiring of the force occupying the 
island constant vigilance and most arduous effort to avoid surprise 
and capture. Most of the stores having been reshipped, on June 
29 and 30, Gen. Wright received orders, on July 1, to embark his 
division on the transports during the ensuing night, leaving the 
97th P. V. to cover the movement and support the pickets, which 
were to be withdrawn early on the morning of July 2. Companies 
C and E of the 97th, being a part of the picket force detailed on 
the evening of the 1st, were on duty when the line was relieved by 
a small force of cavalry at such points as afforded the enemy op- 
portunity to follow the retiring force. At sunrise, the cavalry was 
also withdrawn. When the pickets reached camp, the 97th was in 
line for the march to Gen. Stevens' position. The Regiment pitched 
tents near the camp of Gen. Stevens' troops, the division having to 
await transportation until the return of the vessels which had taken 
Gen. Wright's division to North Edisto. When the Eegiment left 
its camp, in the morning, the sick were sent in ambulances to the 
wharf, at Gen. Stevens' landing, to be sent on board transports. 
Private Lewis C. Peirce, of Company C, having been quite ill and 
very weak, fell dead, of heart disease, just as he was arising to go 
upon the steamer. He was a most faithful and deserving young 
man, amiable and beloved by all. He persisted in remaining upon 
duty while he could shoulder his musket, though often urged to 
remain in his, quarters by his commanding officer. Corp. B. L. 
Kent and Private Anthony Grimes, of Company C, were detailed to 
take his body to Hilton Head, and, if possible, send it north; but, 
being delayed on the way, it was found impossible. Only by the 
greatest effort did they succeed in having it landed and interred in 
the cemetery at Hilton Head. 

July 4, 1862, was celebrated at James Island by a national salute 
from the guns of the steamer Pawnee and the land batteries. De- 
tails were set to work to level the earthworks erected by the enemy 
on Stono River, in which the 97th P. V. participated; also fur- 
nished portions of the picket while it remained with Gen. Stevens' 
division. By July 7, the transports had returned and his entire 
orce had embarked, the 97th Regiment again forming the rear 



1863] EYACUATION OF JAMES AND EDISTO ISLANDS. 129 

guard. Companies B and- E, having been detailed upon picket, 
remained at the front until after the other companies of the Regi- 
ment had also embarked on the steamer Delaware, after which those 
companies were withdrawn from picket and taken on board the 
steamer Ben Deford, with the 6th Connecticut. These vessels then 
proceeded to North Edisto Island to land the troops. Thus ter- 
minated the advance against Charleston, of 1862. 

The Regiment occupied its former camp ground. After making 
the necessary shelter for the tents, to guard against the intense 
heat, and putting the camp in order, the regular routine of com- 
pany and battalion drill was resumed and continued with the usual 
camp and picket duty. 

Within a very short time, however, it became evident that Edisto 
was to be evacuated as soon as the necessary transportation could 
be had to transfer the troops to points of more importance. In the 
meantime, Edisto became the scene of interesting camp experiences, 
interspersed with the adventurous advance of foraging parties 
beyond the lines, to procure substantial and the delicacies of the 
season, which the luxurious climate and soil produced in abundance. 
Berries, tomatoes, okra, and indeed almost every variety of vege- 
tables, afforded many a delicious meal to the hungry soldiers after 
their toilsome campaign on James Island, with nothing but salt 
junk, hard tack and coffee. 



130 



HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. 



[July, 



CHAPTER V. 

Hilton Head; Picket Duty on Broad River; Yellow Fever; 
General Mitchel in command of Department; Pocotaligo; 
Death of General Mitchel; Mortality among the Troops; 
St. Helena and Braddock's Point; July, 1862, to April, 1863. 




N July 16, Gen. Wright's force was ordered to Hil- 
ton Head. The 97th struck tents on the morning 
of that day. No teams having been landed since 
the return, the tents had now to be carried to the 
Avharf, as they had previously been carried to the 
camp, by the men. The expected transports not 
arriving the night was passed by the troops under 
their blankets. The transports not making their ap- 
pearance on the 17th, the waiting became most 
tedious and exposing. The weather remaining fine, but little com- 
plaint was heard. 

At 2.30 A. M., on the 18th, the Regiment was called up to em- 
bark on the steamer Delaware. Started at 4.30 A. M. for Port 
Royal Harbor, arrived at 9.30 A. M., landed on Hilton Head and 
marched to a poin.t just outside the stockade porte on the right of 
the road leading toward Drayton's Plantation, 
where the Regiment stacked arms and the men 
were set to work preparing the ground for camp 
it being an old cotton field, with ridges across 
and the dead cotton stocks still standing. The 
tents not arriving, the men had to make them- 
selves content with their blankets another uisrht. 
Some of the officers and men obtained a pass to 
visit the interior picket line, near a contraband 
settlement, afterward named Mitchelville, the houses being built, 
by the negroes, of rough boards and slabs, obtained at a sawmill 
which was worked by men detailed to provide lumber for general 




H0TJ8B AT MITCHKLVILLE. 



1863.] OFFICERS ON POST DUTY AT HILTON HEAD. 131 

purposes, the slabs being given to the negroes who stood waiting 
for them as they fell from the saw. 

The tents arrived on the 19th, when the camp was arranged in 
order. 

The Regiment was occupied in company and battalion drill, fur- 
nishing the usual detail for picket and work upon the intrenchments, 
during the remainder of the month. Many of the men were af- 
fected with chills and chronic diarrhoea, and some cases of dysentery 
occurred, keeping the hospital attendants busy in giving the requi- 
site attention to the sick. The weather was extremely hot, the 
mercury ranging from one hundred to one hundred and five degrees 
in the shade. 

During July, eight men were discharged and four died, one of 
them, Charles Haslem, Company E, of wounds received June 12. 

Soon after the return of Gen. Wright's division to Hilton Head, 
that officer was ordered to a new military department in the west. 
Gen. Stevens, with his division, also went north to Virginia. He 
was subsequently killed, at the head of his division, in action, 
at Chantilly, Va., on September I, 1862. 

The command of the post, at Hilton Head, August 1, 1862, de- 
volved upon Col. Robert Williams, of the 1st Mass. Cav., who went 
north soon after, leaving the command of the post, to Col. H. R. 
Guss, of the 97th P. V., he being the senior officer present. This 
position he held until September 22, when he was relieved by the 
return of Col. Nathaniel W. Brown, of the 3d Rhode Island Artil- 
lery, who had been absent north on leave. Col. Guss having ap- 
pointed Adj. H. W. Carruthers, 97th P. V., post adjutant, 1st 
Lieut. J. J. Barber, of Company K, was detailed as acting adjutant 
for the Regiment, of which Lieut. Col. A. P. Duer was then in 
command. 

About August 13, a general court-martial was convened, at 
Hilton Head, of which Col. Guss was president and Capt. F. M. 
Guss, of the 97th, a member. It remained in session for a short 
time. 

The 16th of August was observed as a day of rest at the post, 
in observance of the order of President Lincoln. 

On August 17, Lieut. David Jones, quarter-master 97th P. V., 
was detailed as post quarter-master, at Hilton Head, which position 
he held until October 1, 1863. 

At the same time, 1st Lieut. J. M. C. Savage, Company B, was 



132 HISTORY OF THE NINETT-SEVENTH REGIMENT. I August, 

appointed acting quarter-master 97th P. V. and performed the duties 
until September 16, 1862, when he returned to the command of his 
company, Capt. McCoy having been appointed post inspector. 1st 
Lieut. John McGrath, of Company E, was then detailed as acting 
quarter-master of the Regiment. 

Ass't Surgeon Miller, of the 97th P. V., was at this time assigned 
to the care of a ward, in the general hospital, at Hilton Head, 
which he retained for about a year. The charge of the sick of 
the Eegiment was faithfully attended to by Surgeon Everhart, with- 
out other assistance than his usual corps of. attendants. He was at 
all times most assiduous in the discharge of his arduous and respon- 
sible duties, proving himself a most valuable and successful surgeon. 
Private John P. Winterbottom, of Company F, was discharged, 
for disability, on the 18th. 

On August 20, Chaplain William Whitehead resigned, on ac- 
count of ill health from climatic causes. He had been a faithful 
and worthy officer, attentive to the duties of his calling and earnest 
in his efforts to promote the spiritual welfare of his charge. He re- 
turned to his home, September 2, 1862. The Regiment remained 
without a chaplain until the summer of 1864. 

On August 29, Gen. Hunter reviewed the entire force, upon Hil- 
ton Head, commanded by Col. H. R. Guss, the 97th P. V. being 
on the right of the line, commanded by Lieut. Col. A. P. Duer. 

On August 30, the 
97th P. V. was ordered 
to relieve the 7th Conn., 
on outpost picket, along 
Broad River, from Sea- 
brook Point to the mouth 
of Back Creek, about 
eight miles of line. The 
Regiment marched early 
in the morning to Dray- 
ton's Plantation. 
From this point, the companies were distributed as. follows: Com- 
panies A, F and I stationed at Seabrook Point, under command of 
Maj. G. Penny-packer; Companies B, G and K at Stoney's Plan- 
tation, where Lieut. Col. Duer established his head-quarters; Com- 
panies H and E remained at Drayton's Plantation, under command 
of Capt. McConnell, and Companies C and D at Spanish Wells, 




dbayton's mansion. 



1883.] OUTPOST DUTY ON BROAD RIVER 133 

near the signal station, under command of Capt. Price, of Company 
C, whose line extended to the extreme left, at the mouth of Back 
Creek. The picket duty of this line, designed to prevent the enemy 
crossing or passing along Broad Eiver, was performed by sentinels, 
at points in sight of each other, each having its relief in charge of a 
non-commissioned officer, with a commissioned officer in charge of 
each section. The principal and important watch was at night, 
when intermediate sentinels were posted. 

On August 31, in conformity with an act of Congress, the band 
of the 97th P. V. was mustered out of service, by Capt. Jackson, 
inspector general and mustering officer U. S. A. The men left for 
their homes, on September 9, having tendered to Col. Guss a part- 
ing serenade. Willie St. John, a member of the band, enlisted as 
musician, in Company A, and remained with the Regiment. 

During the month of August, 1862, at Hilton Head, the fol- 
lowing deaths occurred in the Regiment: Corp. Israel Oat, Com- 
pany G, August 10, of congestion of the brain; Privates Peter 
Davis, Company E, on the 12th, of typhoid fever; Charles Riley, 
Company E, on the 1 3th, of acute diarrhoea; Ezekiel Walker, 
Company C, on the 21st, of typhoid dysentery. These men were 
buried in the cemetery outside the intrenchments. 

The Regiment remained on duty, on Broad River, until Septem- 
ber 6, at 11 A. M., when it was relieved by the 76th P. V. The de- 
tachments returned separately to camp, which was reached at 3 P. M. 

The usual routine of camp and garrison duties was resumed, 
details regularly furnished for the work upon the intrenchments, 
etc., and dress parade every day. 

Dr. William C. Morrison, of Cochran ville, Chester Co., having 
been assigned to the 97th P. V., in accordance with an act of Con- 
gress authorizing an additional assistant surgeon, joined the Regi- 
ment, September 6, and immediately entered upon the discharge of 
his duties, greatly to the relief of Dr. Everhart, who had been over- 
taxed with the sole charge of the sick during the previous mouth. 

On the evening of September 6, at dress parade, a splendid sword 
and sash were presented to Col. H. R. Guss by the line officers of 
the Regiment. Capt. G. W. Hawkins, of Company I, on behalf of 
the officers, tendered the sword, in a very neat and appropriate 
speech, to which Col. Guss replied, thanking the officers for this 
kind and unexpected manifestation of appreciation of his efforts to 
discharge his duties faithfully. 



134 



HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. [September, 



On September 9, Brig. Gen. John M. Brannan, U. S. V. (now 
major 1st Art., U. S. A.), arrived at Hilton Head. He was received 
by the usual salute from the guns on the forts. Maj. Gen. Hunter 
having been relieved of the command of the Department of the 
South, Gen. Brannan entered temporarily upon the duties of depart- 
ment commander. 

This change of department commanders was regarded to be in 
consequence of the emancipation proclamation of Gen. Hunter, 
and his measures taken to enlist the negroes into the service of the 
United States, in advance of authorized orders, a measure that ulti- 
mately received the sanction of the government and secured his own 
restoration to the command of the department. 

2d Lieut. James Williams, of Company I, having resigned, on 
September 8, returned home on the 10th. 

On September 10, 1862, Capts. F. M, Guss, of Company A, and 
William Wayne, of Company K, with one man from each company, 
were detailed upon recruiting service. They sailed for New York, 
on the steamer Ericsson, on the same day. 

On September 11, Lieut. Col. Duer was detailed upon a general 
court-martial, convened at Beaufort, S. C. The Regiment was com- 
manded by Maj. Pennypacker until September 22. Company and 
battalion drill were continued with regularity, but the heat be- 
coming oppressive, some of the men fainted in the ranks. Mid- 
day drill was now omitted. In the camp, arbors of green boughs 
were built over the rows of tents to shelter the men from the sun. 

On the 18th of Sep- 
tember, Maj. Gen. 0. 
M. Mitchel arrived, at 
Port Royal, on board 
the steamer Arago. He 
was received with the 
usual salute. Having 
been assigned to the 
command of the De- 
partment of the South, 
he relieved Gen. J. M. 
Brannan and established 
his head-quarters in the building on the wharf lately occupied by 
Gen. Hunter. 

On the day after his arrival. Gen. Mitchel visited the camps of 







HEAD-QUAETERS OP HUNTER AND MITCHEL. 



1862.] MITCHEL'S PREPARATIONS FOR AN ADVANCE. 135 

the regiments under his command and personally inspected the 
condition of all, having the men in line for the purpose. 

At noon, on the 19th, he visited the 97th P. V. The B-egiment 
was ordered in line to receive him. Col. Guss then gave the com- 
mand " Close column, by division, on the centre division, right in 
front." The movement being executed. Gen. Mitchel rode up close 
in front of the men, accompanied by the members of his staff and 
Col. Guss. He then addressed the officers and men in a few very 
' eloquent and stirring remarks, indicating his interest in the great 
cause in which they were engaged, and expressed the faith he had 
in the men before him, into whose eyes he seemed to look, saying 
he could recognize in their faces the determination to have that 
cause triumph. He was enthusiastically cheered by the men, who 
were fully impressed that he would prove an efficient leader, but, 
alas! his death occurring, within a very short time after, left those 
hopes unfulfilled. 

On September 20, the Regiment was again detailed for outpost 
picket, on Broad River, relieving the 76th P. V., the companies 
being stationed as previously, except that Company H was added 
to the command of Capt. Price, at Spanish "Wells. The camp of 
the detachment, at this place, was situated in a beautiful pine grove, 
a quarter of a mile in rear of the signal station on Broad River. 
The trees were apparently of many years' growth, yet the ridges of 
former cultivation were plainly perceptible. An old negro, who 
had been a slave upon the plantation from childhood, said he could 
remember when the grove was one of the finest cotton fields he had 
ever known; it had never failed to produce a heavy crop; and, the 
last time it had been planted, there was every prospect of a larger 
yield than ever before, until, just as the bolls were about to burst, 
an unusual rain and heavy flood occurred, which for several days in- 
undated the field, causing the bolls to rot and thus ruined the en- 
tire crop. The master, in a great rage, then swore the field should 
never be planted with cotton again. Being left uncultivated, it had 
quickly grown up with pine trees, now over forty years old. The 
cotton ridges, however, remained as evidences of its former cultiva- 
tion. 

The ground was well adapted for a camp and the shade made it 
a most pleasant spot. The tents were mostly constructed of a frame 
work of poles, the sides interlined with pine boughs and a canvas 
tent-fly covering, the company streets and unoccupied ground being 



136 HISTORT OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. [September, 

kept cleanly swept by the men. The camp presented a most pic- 
turesque appearance, especially by moonlight. It was one of the 
most attractive spots in all the experiences of camp life in the 
South. 

The adjacent creeks, leading into Broad River, afforded most ex- 
cellent fishing ground, in which the men were allowed to indulge, 
when off duty, obtaining an ample supply of trout, bass, sheeps- 
head, drum and other delicious fish. Another feature of interest 
was found in a beautiful little visitant of the feathered tribe, quite 
small in size, of yellowish drab, slightly varied with brown upon the 
wings and head, very tame and fearless. These birds would come in 
the tents and perch about, quite at home, sometimes taking a fancy 
to the toes and knees of the men as they reclined upon the beds; 
they would watch for the flies and dart off", catch their prey with an 
audible snap and then return to their perch to watch for another. 
There seemed to be a perfect understanding, on all sides, that 
these little comrades were not to be frightened or molested, nor was 
there a single instance of injury to one of them known. It Avould 
have been resented upon the off'ender most summarily by universal 
championship of " our pets" at Spanish Wells. 

There were also many beautiful groves of live oak, majestic in 
appearance, under whose branches it was pleasant to repose, shel- 
tered from the intense heat.. The most grand of these were found 
about Beaufort and Port Royal, S. C. 

On September 25, three recruits arrived for Company A, one for 
Company C and one for Company H. One of them, Jonathan 
Philips, had been discharged from Company A, for disability, the 
preceding May. Having recovered, he now returned to his old com- 
pany. 

During September, many of the men were taken ill with an inter- 
mittent fever. Dr. Everhart frequently reported having prescribed 
for over one hundred and twenty cases in one day. The fever as- 
suming a malignant type, toward the end of the month, all drill 
and unnecessary labor was discontinued. 

Ten enlisted men of the Regiment were discharged, on surgeon's 
certificate of disability, during the month of September, one of 
whom was Hospital Steward Harmon Heed. Two of them, Lewis 
Miller and William C. Lewis, Company K, were wounded on James 
Island. Miller died at home, soon after, of chronic diarrhoea. On 
the lOth, Private Benjamin Davis, of Company D, died, of typhoid 



1863. J 



THE CAMP AT SPANISH WELLS. 



137 



fever, and Private George Green, of Company G, died, on the 20th, 
of chronic diarrhoea. Dr. Reuben H. Smith, 1st sergeant of Com- 
pany G, was now promoted to be hospital steward. 

About this time. Brig. Gen. A. H. Terry, late colonel of the 7th 
Conn., was assigned to the command of a brigade, consisting of the 
7th Conn., 76th and 97th P. V., and the 3d N. H. Gen. Terry 
visited the line of outposts held by the 97th P. V., on Broad River, 
and expressed his great satisfaction at finding every portion of the 
line in order, notwithstanding its remoteness and the monotony of 
duty presented a temptation to neglect some of the prescribed 




LIVE OAK GHOVK AT POKT KOTAL. 

observances, not one of which he, coming upon them unannounced, 
could notice. 

Cavalry pickets of the enemy were frequently seen, at Chimney 
Point, on the opposite side of the river. The Regiment remained 
on duty, on Broad River, without any unusual incident, until October 
10, when nine companies were relieved by mounted pickets, a de- 
tail from the 1st Mass. Cav.; Company I, of the 97th, being left 
stationed at Seabrook Point. 

On October 13, three more recruits arrived for Company A, 
making it the largest in the Regiment, numbering, at that time, 
ninety-five effective men. 



138 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. [October. 

On October 15, the Kegiment was paid by Maj. Julidn O. Mason, 
paymaster U. S. V., to include August 31, 1862. 

About October 20, 1862, two cases of yellow fever occurred 
among the laborers employed in the quarter-master's department, 
supposed to have been contracted in unloading a vessel from an 
infected port. 

On October 21, Privates Thomas P. McHale, of Company E,and 
John Dixon, of Company G, died in camp, of yellow fever, after an 
illness of only a few hours. Several others were found to have 
contracted that disease, and many were ill with intermittent fever, 
five hundred being on the sick list at that time. The men seemed 
to manifest no alarm at the presence of yellow fever in the Regi- 
ment. In order to isolate the cases, to prevent its spreading, re- 
quired a guard to keep them from going to see those sick with it. 
The burial party would often ride back to camp on the wagon that 
had carried the corpse to the cemetery. 

It was at this time that Gen. Mitchel, having completed his ar- 
rangements for commencing an active campaign in the Department 
of the South, had organized an expedition to intercept communica- 
tion between Charleston, S. C, and Savannah, Ga., to the com- 
mand of which Gen. Brannan was assigned. The brigade of Brig. 
Gen. A. H. Terry was one of those selected for the advance. The 
troops were to be ready to march on the afternoon of October 20. 

Capt. Price, of Company C, having been detailed, by order of 
Gen. O. M. Mitchel, as president of a military commission, in 
Special Order No. 325, Head-Quarters Department of the South, 
dated October 11, 1862, was engaged upon the duties thereof, 
when the order to march was received. He obtained permission 
of Gen. Mitchel to adjourn the commission in order to accompany 
his Regiment. Capt. Mcllvaine, of Company H, was, at the same 
time, detailed upon court-martial as judge advocate, and made a 
similar application, to Gen. A. H. Terry, to be relieved from that 
duty in order to take command of his company. His request was 
also granted. 

At the hour appointed for the forces to march, the 97th was in 
line and ready to move, when an order was received, countermand- 
ing the marching orders of the 97th, on account of the prevalence 
of the yellow fever in the Regiment. The order was reluctantly 
obeyed. The brigades of Gen. Brannan's command proceeded upon 
transports to the main land during the night following. After 



1863.] 



ACTION AT POCOTALIGO. YELLOW FEVER. 139 



landing at a favorable position, marched to the Pocotaligo River, 
where they found the rebels intrenched at a bridge which inter- 
cepted the way to the railroad. A severe engagement ensued, in 
which the men suffered greatly from the rebel artillery on the 
other side of the river. The troops were preparing for a charge 
upon the bridge when the rebels set fire to it, destroying it, thus 
preventing the possibility of the force crossing to drive them from 
their position. The 76th P. V. lost seventy-six, officers and men ; 
the 47th P. V , 1st brigade, one hundred and ten, and the 7th Conn, 
had twenty-nine killed and wounded. 

On October 24, Private James Wright, of Company D, died, of 
yellow fever, in the general hospital, at Hilton Head, and was 
buried, on the same day, in the cemetery outside the intrenchments. 
Hugh O'Donnell, Jr., a drummer of Company E, also died, on the 
same day, after a few hours' illness, of yellow fever of the most 
virulent type, and, two days after, his father, Private Hugh O'Don- 
nell, Sr., of Company E, died of the same fever. Also, on the 25th, 
in general hospital. Private Peter McDonald, of Company E, died 
of the same disease, and on the 31st, Wagoner James McNulty, of 
Company B, died in camp, a very virulent case of the fever. He 
was buried early in the morning, soon after death, and his tent, 
clothing, etc., were burned. 

Every possible sanitary precaution had early been taken to pre- 
vent the disease spreading. The tents of the Regiment were all 
raised on elevated floors, to allow free circulation of air under and 
between the tents, and thorough police regulations observed, the 
tents being all taken down every morning and turned inside out, 
allowing the sunlight to fall upon the floors, clothing, etc., the tents 
remaining down during the day. Through these precautions, 
though the disease, in many cases, manifested its full malignancy, 
it did not appear to become very , contagious, there being but few 
cases of nurses taking it, and many others had gone in and out, to 
see patients aifected with it, with impunity, no doubt attributable to 
being so much in the open air. Had this fever broken out among 
so many people crowded together in close houses, in filthy locali- 
ties, the number of cases and the mortality would have been fear- 
fully different. 

Maj. Gen. Mitchel, being stricken with the fever, was removed to 
Beaufort, where, it was hoped, he might have greater chances of 
recovery and better treatment in more comfortable quarters. He, 



140 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. F October, 

however, fell a victim to the disease, on October 30, after receiving 
every available medical care, and the kindest nursing at the hands 
of Mrs. Frances D. Gage, at that time at Beaufort, engaged in the 
care and education of the freedmen. 

The flags in the harbor and upon the forts and public departments 
were all displayed at half-mast, and every demonstration of respect 
and mourning observed, in honor of the distinguished and lamented 
commandant of the department. Upon the death of Gen. Mitchel, 
Gen. Brannan resumed the command. 

On October 24, Capts. William McConnell, of Company E, and 
George W. Hawkins, of Company I, with one man from each com- 
pany, were detailed upon recruiting service and started north to 
relieve Capts. Guss and Wayne, previously detailed upon that 
service. While absent, Capt. Hawkins applied for appointment to 
the command of a regiment of colored troops, and was ordered 
before the examining board, at Washington, appointed to select 
officers for the colored troops. The command of Company I now 
devolved upon 1st Lieut. Sketchley Morton, Jr., of that company. 

Lieut. Morton was soon after taken ill, at Seabrook Point, where 
his company was still stationed. He was brought to his tent in the 
camp of the Regiment for medical attendance. He was subse- 
quently sent to the general hospital, at Hilton Head, the disease 
having proved to be yellow fever, of a mild type, from which he 
became convalescent, but a relapse occurred, resulting in a fatal 
termination on the morning of November 12, 1862. He was buried 
in the cemetery outside the intrenchments, at the edge of a pine 
grove, just at sunset, the evening after his death. The funeral was 
attended by most of the officers, a company of the Regiment forming 
the escort. This being the first death of an officer of the Regi- 
ment, it was a sad duty to perform, consigning to the grave, so far 
away from his home and loved ones, one so young, whose life had 
been so genial, so bright, with life's anticipations yet unfulfilled. 
There being no chaplain present, it was supposed there would be no 
other services than the usual firing over the grave after the body 
had been lowered. The golden rays of the setting sun were rest- 
ing upon the shadows of the dark pines and falling through the 
branches upon the uncovered heads of his comrades, who stood 
around silently pausing awhile before the signal should be given to 
the firing party, when, without previous intimation, the adjutant 
of the Regiment, 1st Lieut. H. W. Carruthers, advanced a few 





C/^C^^TT^t^ 



1862.1 DEATH AND BUEIAL OF LIEUTENANT MORTON. 141 

steps, to the edge of the grave, and, in a clear but subdued voice, 
read the beautiful Episcopal burial service for the dead in a most 
touching and impressive manner. All felt it most opportune and 
were grateful for the inspiration that prompted it. No ordained 
minister, perhaps, could more fitly have performed his office. 

The following notice of the death of Lieut. Morton is taken from 
the Delaware County Republican, November 1862: 

"Death of Lieut. Sketchley Morton, Jr. — Intelhgence has 
reached us, from Hilton Head, S. C, of the death of this noble 
young man and brave ofiicer. He fell a victim to yellow fever, on 
the 12th inst., after an illness of two weeks, in the United States 
General Hospital, at that place, deeply and universally regretted by 
the officers and men of the 97th Regiment P. V., to which he was 
attached. Lieut. Morton was only twenty-one years of age. His 
life was a model one and his character without a stain. He chose 
a soldier's life from a sense of duty and, after serving through the 
three months' campaign, joined the 97th on its formation, con- 
tinuing to perform active service until stricken down by the fatal 
disease which carried him to the grave. It is consoling to his rela- 
tives and friends to know that he had every attention shoAvn him 
that was possible under the circumstances, and that his dying 
pillow was smoothed by the kind offices of his companions in arms, 
by one of, whom we are assured that he lacked nothing which the 
abundant conveniences and excellent arrangement for the care of 
the sick could supply." 

A brother officer, who was present at his death, writes: "It is a 
consolation to know that he gave himself to his country in the hour 
of peril, and that in her service he was ever true to duty both in 
the camp and in the field. Before the enemy he quailed not; and 
now that he is called away to a higher life, he has left liis name in- 
scribed with those brave ones who have fallen in the efi'ort to main- 
tain, in its integrity, the best government God ever permitted man 
to make. His fellow soldiers lose a friend and associate who was 
ever genial, kind and courteous in all his intercourse with them, 
and the Regiment a faithful and efficient officer. Such are the sa- 
crifices that have caused countless numbers to mourn their loved 
and lost in so many homes of our once peaceful and happy land 
now desolated by the ravages of a wicked rebellion." 

The subjoined sketch of Lieut. Morton is by J. Hill Martin, Esq., 
author of History of Chester, Delaware County, Pa.: 



142 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. [November, 

"Sketchley Morton, Jr., the third son of Judge Sketchley Mor- 
ton and Elizabeth Newlin, his wife, was born at his father's resi- 
dence, in Springfield, Delaware County, Pa., on March 22, 1842. 
On the breaking out of the rebellion, he enlisted in the company 
raised in Delaware County, by Capt. George W. Hawkins, and was 
mustered into service, at West Chester, on October 1, 1861, as 
1st lieutenant of Company I, 97th Regiment of Pennsylvania 
Volunteers, Col. H. R. Guss commanding, and accompanied his 
regiment to Port Royal, and died, in the military hospital, at Hilton 
Head, November 12, 1862, of the yellow fever, aged twenty years 
and eight months. He was a great-great-grandson of John Mor- 
ton, a signer of the Declaration of Independence and a great-grand- 
son of Sketchley Morton, a major in the Revolutionary army. He 
was a young gentleman of first abilities and of pleasing personal 
appearance, very popular with his comrades in arms and beloved 
by his relations and friends for his many fine qualities and amiable 
disposition." 

When Lieut. Morton was taken ill, Lieut. George W. Williams, 
of Company D, was placed, temporarily, in command of Company 
I, which he continued to retain until the return of Capt. Hawkins, 
from recruiting service, being nearly six months. 

During October, eight men were discharged for disability. 

On November 1, Privates Abner McCartney, of Company F, and 
Josiah Grove Huggins, of Company E, died of yellow fever They 
were buried, from the general hospital, at the cemetery, and on the 
2d, Corp. James McConnell, Company H, also died of the fever. 

On November 3, the Regiment moved inside the intrenchments, 
near the spot where it first encamped in 1861. The health of the 
men seemed to improve after the removal. 

Sergt. Elisha Middleton, of Company B, died, of yellow fever, on 
November 4, and was buried the same day. He had just been re- 
commended for discharge for disability. 

On November 14, 16 and 17, in conformity with General Orders 
No. 134, dated War Department, October 9, 1862, the following 
men of the 97th P. V. were discharged for the purpose of re-enlist- 
ing in Company E, 3d U. S. Artillery, commanded by Capt. John 
Hamilton, viz.: Privates James M. Haines, Company A; Joseph 
Bence, William Clark and ElHott Hopkins, Company C; William 
Smith, Company D; Alfred L. Dutton, Company H; and Corp. 
James W. Phillips, Privates John McCann, Daniel Urmy, Amos 



1863.] PREVALENCE OF YELLOW FEVER AT HILTON HEAD. 143 

Y. Harry and William Wilson, of Company K. On January 18, 
1863, Corp. Davis O. Taylor, Company C, also re-enlisted in the 
same battery, under the same order. These men all served out the 
remainder of their term (three years) except one (Harry), who was 
killed in action, at Olustee, Fla., in February, 1864. Four re- 
enlisted as veterans, and one (Urmy) remained with the battery. 

On November 18, two recruits arrived for Company A, sent by 
Capt. Guss. On same day. Company I, 97th P. V. was relieved 
from duty at Seabrook Point and returned to camp. 

Private George Conway, of Company E, died, of yellow fever, on 
November 18. There continued to be many cases and frequent 
deaths from yellow fever, at the general hospital, until the end of 
November, when the disease abated. 

The Regiment, until November 20, continued to perform the usual 
camp and picket duty; also furnished details for work upon the in- 
trenchments. Company and squad drills, at intervals, as the health 
of the men admitted. 

On November 20, for sanitary considerations, all the companies 
of the Uegiment excepting one were removed to St. Helena Island, 
taking tents and light baggage, leaving tent floors, the stables 
and hospital tents; Company C, with Capt. Price in command, 
being left in charge of the camp property on Hilton Head. The 
Regiment, at St. Helena, was relieved of all active duty in order 
to allow the men opportunity to recuperate. 

Private William M. Best, of Company B, died, of diptheria, at 
general hospital, on the 19th, and Private David N. Ruth, of Com- 
pany C, on the 22d, of yellow fever. On the 26th, Private William 
H. Wilson, of Company B, died of remittent fever, in camp, at St. 
Helena. 

On the 22d, 2d Lieuts. Borrell, of Company G, and Baldwin, of 
Company H, having resigned, returned home. Lieuts. Armstrong, 
of Company B, and Barber, of Company K, received furloughs of 
thirty days, and soon after resigiaied. 

November 27 was observed in the department as Thanksgiving 
Day, in conformity with the order of President Lincoln. The offi- 
cers of the 97th Regiment, together with most of those at the post, 
were invited to spend the day at Fort Pulaski, as the guests of the 
48th New York, Col. W. B. Barton commanding, which garrisoned 
the fort. The trip by Broad River was delightful and the entertain- 
ment unsurpassed. A dress parade of the Regiment, with evolutions 



144 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. [December, 

of the battalion, forming column closed in mass, forming square, 
etc., all performed with admirable precision, concluded the proceed- 
ings of the day. In the evening, music and dancing in the officers' 
quarters in the casemates, there being quite a number of ladies pre- 
sent to grace the occasion. At the Pelican, outside the fort, a court 
of inquiry was engaged, late in the evening, earnestly endeavoring 
to ascertain the responsibility for certain casks, in the possession of 
the host, said to contain a perfectly harmless fluid, in bottles not 
labeled, and which could only be correctly decided by unharnessing 
the corks, a service which seemed to find numerous and ardent 




FOKT PULASKI. 



volunteers. The action was sharp, not short, nor altogether deci- 
sive. No lives were lost, however, and even the veteran explorer, 
Capt. Waterbury, of the 55th, survived to do gallant service on 
many another day. 

During November, there were twelve men discharged for disa- 
bility. 

On December 6, Private William H. Brown, of Company D, 
died, in general hospital, of chronic diarrhoea, and, on the 29th, 
Private Thomas M. Lancaster, of same company, died, of diptheria, 
at St. Helena. 

On December 13, Lieuts. Isaac Smedley, of Company C, and 
Joseph T. Burnett, of Company F, received furloughs for thirty days 
and returned home. Capts. I. Price, of Company C, and» Charles 
Mcllvaine, of Company H, were detailed, by order of Gen. A. H. 
Terry, upon a general court-martial, convened at Hilton Head, 
pursuant to Special Order No. 70, dated Hilton Head, S. C, De- 
cember 16, 1862. This court, of which Col. Edwin Metcalf, 3d 
R. I. Vols., was president, continued its sessions through December, 
1862, January and par; of February, 1863, adjourning at intervals, 
but not finally, until relieved by order of Gen. A. H. Terry, upon 
the completion of the labors of the court. 



1863 ] THE REGIMENT AT ST. HELENA ISLAND, 145 

Christmas Day was observed, at St. Helena, as a grand holiday. 
Games and pastimes were improvised for the amusement of the men 
and several prizes oiFered for feats of agility, sack races, etc., the 
funds for which being raised by contributions from the officers of 
the Regiment. There was also singing by a glee club of the men, 
which was excellent, and a jig dance, by Corp. Litzenburg, of Com- 
pany G, which was admirable. Sergt. J. A. Russell, of Company 
H, elicited roars of laughter by his negro eccentricities. This 
amusing and interesting entertainment concluded with the perform- 
ance of Richard III, followed by a burlesque, in which the cha- 
racters were admirably sustained by the entire company of amateur 
performers. 

In the evening, Capt. F. M. Guss arrived with his recruiting 
party and three recruits, two of whom were assigned to Company 
K and one to Company G, making nine recruits sent to the Regi- 
ment by the party. 

On December 29, Capt. I. Price, of Company C, being ill with 
fever, was taken to the general hospital, at Hilton Head, where he 
remained until convalescent, January 8, 1863. The command of 
his company, during the interval, devolved upon 1st Lieut. Eachus. 
At this time, the average number of sick in the hospital and on 
light duty was eight men to a company. During December, eight 
men were discharged for disability. 

The Regiment remained at St. Helena until January 15, when 
Companies B, E, G and K returned to camp at Hilton Head. 
Companies A, D, I and H started to return on the 19th, but, owing 
to windy and stormy weather setting in after embarking, put into 
Seabrook Point, and encamped until the 21st, when they returned to 
Hilton Head. Company F remained at St. Helena, until February 
11, to assist the engineers in the construction of a wharf and some 
improvements at the fort on Bay Point. 

On January 18, Maj. Gen. Hunter returned to Hilton Head and 
resumed the command of the Department of South. Appropriate 
salutes were fired by the forts upon his arrival. 

On January 21, Private Patrick Keefe, of Company E, died, of 
congestive fever, at Hilton Head. . 

On the 22d, a detail of twenty-six men, of Company C, under 
command of 1st Lieut. Eachus, was sent to work upon the new 
earthwork. Fort Mitchel, being erected near Seabrook Point, taking 
tents, etc., to encamp, remaining upon that duty about two weeks. 
10 



146 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. [February, 

On the 28th, the 97th was inspected and reviewed by Lieut Col. 
Oliver D. Green, A. A. G.,U. S. A , Capt. Richard H. Jackson, 1st 
U. S. Artillery, inspector general of department, and 1st Lieut. John 
E. Myrick, 3d U. S. Artillery They also drilled the Regiment in 
various battalion movements and required each of the line officers, 
in turn, to take command of the Regiment and give the requisite 
command to execute the movement indicated, to change the bat- 
talion from one given position to another. These exercises were of 
great interest and service. 

After the return of the Regiment to Hilton Head, company and 
regimental drill were resumed, including also the skirmish drill and 
bayonet exercise. 

On January 31, Company C was ordered to Braddock's Point, at 
the south end of Hilton Head Island, fourteen miles distant from 
head-quarters, relieving a detachment of 1st Massachusetts Cavalry 
on outpost duty. Capt. Price being still engaged as a member of 
court-martial, the company was commanded by Lieut. Eachus. 
The duty at Braddock's Point required a detail for three posts, for 
observation, and to prevent rebel scouting parties from landing. 

The company was relieved, on February 12, by Company E, 97th 
P. v., under Lieut. John McNamee. That company remained on 
duty until February 22, when it was relieved by Company B, of 
the 97th, which, a week later, was relieved by a detachment of 
Massachusetts Cavalry. 

During January, six men were discharged for disability. Toward 
the end of the month, the Department of South was reinforced by 
a division of troops from Virginia and a detachment of the 18th 
Army Corps, from North Carolina, known as the Expeditionary 
Forces. The entire force comprised about twelve thousand excel- 
lent troops, under the command of Maj. Gen. John G. Foster. 

On February 6, 2d Lieut. Thomas E. Weber, Sergt. Benjamin F. 
Stackhouse and Private Thomas C. Parsons, of Company A, and 
Privates Alexander Beck, of Company C, and Abiah C. E. Miller, 
of Company H, were detailed upon duty in United States Signal 
Corps. Sergt. Stackhouse returned to the Regiment, August 16, 
1863. ^Miller returned in February, 1864. The rest were trans- 
ferred permanently to the signal corps. They were first stationed at 
Hilton Head; afterward, under Lieut. Weber, at Kane Island, in 
Beaufort River, and on Morris Island, S. C, in 1863, and on the 
James River, in 1864, where Private Beck had charge of a station 



1863.] PRACTICE IN DISEMBARKING FROM TRANSPORTS. 147 

between James and Appomattox Rivers and subsequently at Dutch 
Gap, Va. Private Thomas J. Miller, of Company A, Corp. Wil- 
liam H. George and Private John G. Foard, both of Company H, 
were afterward detailed upon the same service, and on August 9,^ 
1863, were permanently transferred to the signal corps. 

On February 11, the Regitnent was paid, by Maj. J. O. Mason, 
paymaster U. S. V., for four months, to include December 31, 
1862. On February 7, Private Charles Green, Company G, died, of 
congestive fever, at Hilton Head. 

On February 17, Capt. Price, of Company C, obtained permis- 
sion, of Gen. A. H. Terry, commanding post, to proceed to Warsaw 
Island, Ga., with a sergeant and ten men, to procure the bodies of 
Lieut. Gardiner and Private Joseph R. McKinley, of Company C, 
in order to send them to West Chester, for interment by their 
friends. Capt. Price received an order from chief quarter-master, 
Lieut. Col. J. J. Elwell, placing the steamer Boston at his service 
for the purpose, on the return trip from Ossabaw Sound, Ga., to 
which place it was to convey the 47th N. Y. Regiment, where 
several days' delay occurred in landing it. 

The steamer reached Warsaw Island, on the evening of the 24th. 
The detail landed at once and disinterred the bodies without 
trouble or delay of any kind. Within an hour after, they had been 
enclosed in metallic coffins and were ready for departure, but 
Capt Johnson preferred to remain at anchor until next morning. 
Reached Hilton Head on the 25th. The bodies were subsequently 
forwarded to West Chester, by Adams Express, the expense being 
defrayed from the fund of Company C, by a unanimous vote of the 
men. 

About this time, Mr. J. C. Morgan, of Penningtonville, Chester 
Co., visited the Regiment for the purpose of securing the discharge 
of, and conveying to his home. Private John C. Brubaker, of 
Company A, whose health was rapidly failing. Mr. Morgan was 
welcomed by many friends in the Regiment, being the first visitor 
from the district since leaving home. He remained at Hilton Head 
until about March 4, when, his friend having received his discharge, 
they returned to Chester County, where Brubaker soon after died. 

In anticipation of operations being renewed in Charleston Harbor, 
Gen. Terry was having the regiments of his command practiced in 
disembarking from transports upon the beach, and forming line of 
battle, in order to prepare the men for such service. 



148 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. [February, 

On Eebruary 29, seven companies of the 97th Regiment were 
taken on board the steamer Delaware for that purpose, Companies 
A, B and I being absent. Gen. Terry accompanied the Regiment. 
The steamer moved up the harbor to a point opposite Elliott's Plan- 
tation, near Seabrook Point. Each company had been assigned its 
position on the steamer from which- to disembark and a lighter 
arranged for each. Oarsmen had been designated and everything 
in readiness when the order was given. Each company started at 
once to enter the lighters, cast off and made for the shore, the con- 
test being which should be the first in line. Company C, having 
the colors, made every effort to have them on the line first, and 
was successful. There was, however, but little difference in time, 
the entire Regiment being in line, ready for the march, in fifteen 
minutes after the order was given on board the steamer, distant 
three hundred yards from shore. Gen. Terry highly complimented 
the officers and men for the rapidity and order of the movement. 

During the latter part of February and all of March, Company 
B was stationed at Seabrook Point. Company G was detailed as 
provost guard, at Hilton Head, in January, and remained on that 
duty until March 30. On February 17, Companies A and I were 
ordered to Paris Island, opposite St. Helena Island, to guard the 
residents, mostly contrabands, from annoyance, by parties of soldiers 
crossing over and robbing them of their produce. The companies 
were stationed in a large cotton house, at one of the plantations, 
having orders to allow no soldiers or civilians to land upon the 
island without a pass from Brig. Gen. R. Saxon. Those compa- 
nies remained on duty, at Paris Island, Capt. F. M. Guss in com- 
mand, until March 31, when they returned to the Regiment, at 
Hilton Head. 

The freedmen of the island were then, and for a long time, in 
charge of Mrs. F. D. Gage and her son, George D. Gage. The 
former has since expressed their very great satisfaction on account 
of the uniform kindness and courtesy of Capt. Guss and his officers 
and the men of those companies under his command, while on duty 
at that place, stating that no cause of complaint occurred from any 
source while the island remained in their charge. 

Before the occupation of Paris Island, by Capt. Guss' command, 
the complaints of trespassing and injury to the property of the con- 
trabands were both numerous and varied, culminating in the killing 
and dressing for beef, by foraging soldiers, of a fine bull, the last 



1863] DETACHMENT ON DUTY AT PARIS ISLAND. 149 

of his sex on the island. At that time, the late lamented Lieut. 
Col. Charles G. Halpine was assistant adjutant general upon Gen. 
Hunter's staff, to whom this complaint was brought. Within a few 
days afterward, the appended ballad was circulated, apparently from 
the office of the New South, and was everywhere regarded as ema- 
nating from the pen of that gifted writer. The incident thus 
graphically portrayed became a " classic story" throughout the 
camps of the department. To omit such a gem of poetic lustre 
from the record of camp experiences, on the ground of its subject, 
would seem to be a needless discrimination against merit, and wit 
so well directed as to find appreciation by the entire command, 
while serving, also, the important purpose of causing the men to be 
thereafter more considerate of the rights and property of the island 
tillers. 

THE BUTCHERED BULL. 



A BALLAD OF PARIS ISLAND. 



The following memorial was addressed to Gen. Hunter, on last Monday, in 
regard to a Bull, killed on Paris Island by some straggling soldiers from Gen. 
Naglee's command. The name of the writer was not appended to the copy 
which came into our possession through the kindness of a staff officer at 
head-quarters; but we have reason to believe that the verses emanate from a 
distinguished source. — Ed. 

Dear General H., my heart is full. 
Lamenting for my butchered bull ; — 
The only hull our Islands had. 
And all my widowed cows are sad. 

With briny tears, and drooping tails, 
And loud boo-hoos and bovine wails, 
My cows lament with wifely zeal 
Their perished hopes of future Veal. 

Sad is the wail of human wife 
To see her partner snatched from life; 
But he, — the husband of a score, — 
For him the grief is more and more ! 

No future hope of golden cream ; 
Even milk in tea becomes a dream: — 
Whey, bonny-clabber, cheese and curds, • 
Are now, ah, me! mere idle wordsl 



150 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. [February. 

The cruel soldiers, fierce and full 
Of reckless wrath, have shot my bull ; 
The stateliest bull,— let scoffers laugh, — 
That e'er was "Father" called by calf! 

A bull as noble, firm and fair 

As that which aided Jove to bear 

Europa from the flowery glade 

Where she, amidst her maidens, played. 

Dear General H., accept my vows. 
And ohl take pity on my cows, — 
With whom, bereft of wifely ties, 
All tender hearts must sympathize. 

Quick to Van Vliet your order send 
(By Smith's congenial spirit penned), 
And order him, in language full. 
At once to send me down a Bull: — 

If possible, a youthful beast. 
With warm affections yet unplaced. 
Who to my widowed cows may prove 
A husband of enduring love. 

Port Royal, S. C, Feb. 18, 1863. 

While stationed at Hilton Head, during the winter of 1862-63, 
the men of Capt. Hamilton's battery, encamped near by, impro- 
vised some very successful and interesting theatrical performances 
that greatly relieved the monotony of camp life. The oiRcers and 
men of the different commands were frequently invited to be pre- 
sent. On the evening of Friday, 16th, the officers and men of the 
97th were especially invited to attend. More than five hundred 
of the Regiment were present and were highly gratified with the 
entertainment. 

During February, 1863, six men were discharged for disability. 

On March 13, about 12.30 A. M., a rebel force succeeded in 
landing near Spanish Wells and captured Post No. 1, at the signal 
station, taking prisoners one sergeant and seven privates of the 
9th Maine, the signal officer and two men. The rebels surprised 
and captured their prisoners without firing a shot or causing any 
alarm to be given and, when ready to leave, set fire to the signal 
station, which gave the first notice of the raid. The light aroused 
the reserve at Spanish Wells. In the attendant confusion, it could 
only be ascertained that the men were missing and the building on 



^^^^•] RAID OF THE ENEMY AT SPANISH WELLS. ' 151 

fire. The other posts were all found to be undisturbed. It Avas 
supposed the enemy must be on the island still, as the pickets were 
enabled by the light to have a view of the river for a considerable 
distance and no boats had been seen either approaching or depart- 
ing. A courier was dispatched to Hilton Head, where an alarm 
already prevailed, in consequence of the bright light. The 97th 
P. V. was ordered to march to Spanish Wells at 1.30 A. M., but no 
trace of the enemy was found beyond that at the signal station. 
The Regiment returned to camp at 7 A. M. About thirty of the 
men having been detailed, the previous evening, for duty in the 
morning, they went to their post at 8 A. M., notwithstanding their 
night march of over fourteen miles. 

On March 22, the Regiment, with three others, marched six miles 
to near Drayton's Place, and were there deployed right and left to 
skirmish the intervening forest and swamps from Drayton's and 
Spanish Wells toward the interior picket line, in order to capture a 
rebel spy, who had several times been seen by the pickets, lurking 
in the woods. The skirmish line extended nearly three miles in 
length and was most carefully conducted through a dense under- 
growth and other obstacles, but without success. The peculiar track 
of the man was discovered in several places where he had been seen 
walking previously. The scout occupied the entire day and part of 
the ensuing night. Companies A, B, G and I, being on detached 
duty, were not with the Regiment. Those companies returned to 
the Regiment on March 31. 

During March, 1863, nine men were discharged for disability. 



152 " HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. t April, 




CHAPTER VI. 

Second Expedition against Charleston; Campaign on James 
Island; Capture of Morris Island and Assault upon Fort 
Wagner; Siege and Capture of Forts Wagner and Gregg; 
April to October, 1863. 

SECOND advance against Charleston being determined 
upon, Gen. Hunter had completed his preparations at 
Hilton Head, by April 3, 1863, and the expedition was 
ready for departure upon its destination. Col. Henry 
R. Guss, of the 97th P. V., was assigned to the com- 
mand of the 1st brigade 1st division of the 10th Army 
Corps, consisting of the 8th Maine, 76th and 97th P. 
v., the division being commanded by Brig. Gen.. A. H. 
Terry. 

Adjt. H. W. Carruthers, of the 97th P. V., was now detailed as 
assistant adjutant general upon the staff of Col. Guss. 2d Lieut. 
Isaac Smedley, of Company C, was then detailed acting adjutant 
of the 97th P. V. 

The Regiment, commanded by Lieut. Col. A. P. Duer, embarked 
at 4 P. M., April 3, on the steamer Expounder. The transports lay 
at anchor until the entire force was ready. Sailed at 3 A. M. on 
the 5th. During the morning passed near the iron clad fleet at the 
mouth of Edisto, and at 10.30 A. M. reached Stono Inlet, anchored 
until 6 P. M., then entered Stono River and came to anchor near 
Folly Island. Heard three or four heavy guns in the direction of 
Charleston Harbor. The transports remained at anchor, in Stono 
River, during the 6th and 7th. 

On April 6, 1863, in General Order No. 5, Head-Quarters, Terry's 
Division, 10th A. C, Capt. Mcllvaine was appointed ordnance offi- 
cer upon the staff of Brig. Gen. A. H. Terry, commanding division, 
and remained upon that duty until the acceptance of his resignation, 
on account of failing health, being previously transferred to the staff 



1863.] hunter's second ADVANCE TOWARD CHARLESTON. 153 

of Brig. Gen. Joseph R. Hawley, who succeeded Gen. Terry in com- 
mand of the division during the temporary leave of absence of the 
latter. Company H was from this time under the command of 2d 
' Lieut. George A. Lemaistre. 

At 2 P. M., on the 7th, the iron clad fleet having crossed the bar, 
at the entrance to Charleston Harbor, commenced the bombardment 
of Fort Sumter and the land batteries on Morris and Sullivan's Is- 
lands. Heavy and continued firing was heard during the afternoon. 

On the 8th, the firing was not resumed. 

On the 9th, the brigade, with others, landed on Folly Island. One 
hundred rounds of ammunition were issued to the men of the Regi- 
ment, and preparations made for marching toward Morris Island. 
Passed the night "under blankets, having stacked arms near the 
beach. Remained during the next day at the same place, the men 
being allowed to build fires, cook coffee, etc. At 5 P. M., orders 
were received to re-embark on the transports, the expedition being 
ordered to return to Hilton Head, the bombardment of Sumter and 
the other works not having secured sufficent advantage to warrant 
an assault upon the rebel position on Morris Island. Col. Jebe B. 
HowelFs brigade remained to occupy Folly Island, and the 100th 
N. Y., Col. Geo. F. B. Dandy, was stationed on Cole Island. 

The transports arrived at Hilton Head at 5 P. M. on the 11th, and 
anchored until the 12th, when the Regiment landed and occupied 
its former camp ground, where it remained until the 16th, doing 
picket and other duty. 

On April 13, 1863, Capt. Mcllvaine was designated, in General 
Order No. 31, Head-Quarters, U. S. Forces, Hilton Head, S. C, in 
accordance with page 3, General Order, Department of the South, 
to investigate and decide upon the complaints of negroes who had 
been defrauded of their just earnings. Capt. Mcllvaine performed 
this service, in addition to his staff duties, and claims to have taken 
the first negro evidence on record in the Department of the South. 

On April 16, the 1st brigade was again ordered to Edisto Island. 
The 97th embarked at 10 P. M., on board transport Ben Deford, 
which sailed at 8.30 A. M. on the 17th. Arrived at Edisto at 12 
M. and landed at 4.30 P. M. Companies A, F and I went on picket 
immediately. The rest of the Regiment prepared to encamp near 
the wharf, bringing boards, etc., from the old camp ground, which 
was found just as it had been left nearly a year before. The 76th 
P. V. arrived about 5 P. M. Details were made to construct a line 



154 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. \.^ml 

of intrenchments just outside the camp of the brigade, running from 
a point on the Edisto on the right to a creek on the left. 

On April 21, the 97th P. V. was paid by Maj. Julian O. Mason, 
paymaster U. S. V., for the two months ending February 28, 1863. 
On the same day, orders were received, transferring the 97th P. V. 
from the 1st brigade and attaching it to the 3d brigade, 1st division, 
commanded by Brig. Gen. Thomas G. Stevenson, who was also in 
command of all the forces on the Edisto, his brigade being then at 
Seabrook Point, John's Island, across the Edisto Eiver. Col. Guss 
earnestly endeavored to have the order countermanded, desiring to 
retain his Regiment in his own brigade, but was unsuccessful. The 
Regiment was, therefore, reluctantly separated from its beloved com- 
mander. Companies B, E, F and K, under command of Lieut. Col. 
Duer, were sent over to Seabrook Point, on the 21st, to prepare the 
ground for encampment, with Gen. Stevenson's brigade, it being 
covered with rubbish and fallen trees, which had to be burned. 
The remaining companies, under command of Maj. Pennypacker, 
crossed the river on the 22d. Col. Guss remained in command of 
his brigade, which was encamped on Botany Bay Island, adjoining 
Edisto Island. He was assigned to the command of the forces on 
Botany Bay, about May 3, 1863, and continued in command at that 
place until the troops advanced toward Charleston, about July 8, 
the 3d N. H. being added to his brigade. The 97th P. V. en- 
camped on the edge of a wood, near the beach, at the mouth of 
Edisto River. The brigade consisted of the 24:th Mass. and the 
10th Conn., both encamped near the river, on the left; the 56th 
N. Y. on the right. The 97th P. V. and a company of the 1st N. 
Y. Engineers was also encamped on the extreme right. Company 
A, of the 97th, was detailed for fatigue duty, on the 24th, to work 
upon a battery being erected on the left of the advanced picket 
line at some distance from the encampment. One company was 
detailed each day for this duty when the Regiment was not on duty 
at the front. The picket duty was performed, for a week at a time, 
by each regiment in turn, having two reserve stations, a little in the 
rear of the line, from which daily details for picket were made. 

On April 26, Capts. McConnell and Hawkins and recruiting 
party rejoined the Regiment. 

On the 26th, Lieut. Col. Duer being ordered to Hilton Head, 
on court-martial duty, Maj. G. Pennypacker then commanded the 
Regiment. 



1863,] PICKET AND OTHER DUTY ON JOHN'S ISLAND. 155 

During the month of April, two men died; none discharged. 

On May 3, Lieut. Smedley, of Company C, having previously re- 
signed on account of disability, received an honorable discharge, 
but did not return home until the middle of July, 1st Lieut. John 
Wainw^right, of Company F, was detailed as acting adjutant of the 
Regiment, on May 8, and served until June 10. 

On May 6, in compliance with orders from head-quarters, De- 
partment of the South, furloughs were granted to one-twentieth of 
the men of each company, in all thirty-seven men, of the Regiment, 
for thirty days from date of sailing from Hilton Head. They left 
on the 10th, in company with Adjt. Carruthers, A. A. G., 1st 
brigade, who received a short leave of absence, and sailed, on the 
12th, from Hilton Head, S. C. Gen. Terry, commanding division. 
Post Qr. Mr. Jones and Capt. McCoy obtained leave of absence; 
also Mrs. St. John. They all went north together. Lieut. McGrath 
received a leave of absence, a few days later, and went home. 

On May 7, the 97th P. V., in command of Maj. G. Pennypacker, 
relieved the 24th Mass. on picket, the reserve stations being in a 
wood about three miles from the camp and a short distance in the 
rear of the picket line. The reserve force was now called up at 2 

A. M., to stand at arras in line until sunrise, to guard against sur- 
prise from the enemy, whose cavalry pickets were directly in front. 

On May 9, Gen. Stevenson visited the line of pickets. He com- 
mended the officers and men for the vigilant and faithful discharge 
of their duties at the front and for the general order of the line. 

On the afternoon of the 10th, a small force of rebel cavalry ad- 
vanced a short distance beyond their line, apparently with the 
intention of drawing our fire. They then fired a few shots with 
their carbines, but without eff"ect. The fire was not returned. The 
reserve was held in readiness in case of an attack by a larger force 
that was observed sheltered behind the houses and hedges near the 
rebel line. There was, however, no further advance made. 

The 97th was relieved from picket at 8 A. M., on the Uth, by the 
56th N. Y., and returned to camp. 

On the 18th, Companies A, B, I and K were detailed for work 
on the new battery; on the 19th, Companies C, E, F, G and H; 
on the 21st, Companies A, B, C and D; on the 23d, Companies A, 

B, I and K; on the 26th and the 29th, companies not designated 
were engaged upon the same service. 

On May 24, Capts. Price, Mendenhall, McConnell and Lewis 



156 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH BEGIMENT. 1^^*** 

were ordered to Hilton Head, to attend court-martial as witnesses, 
and were absent for several days. A squad of men from each com- 
pany was sent to Hilton Head, with those officers, to bring up a 
portion of the camp and garrison equipage of the Eegiment left at 
that post. 

On May 25, Sergt. Burton and Privates A. Chandler, William 
Givin and V. Yarnall, of Company A, were detailed as a patrol 
guard, at Gen. Stevenson's head-quarters, to examine boats of con- 
trabands and others trading in the river. 

On May 25, the Regiment was engaged on fatigue duty, cutting 
timber; also on the 27th and 30th. 

During the month, nine men were discharged for disability and 
one man died of chronic diarrhoea. These names appear in the 
record. 

On June 3, the Regiment was again on fatigue duty, at the new 
battery, near the picket reserve. 

On the 4th, the Regiment was again detailed for picket, for the 
ensuing week. Marched to the front at 8 A. M., where the usual 
detail was made and sent to relieve the 24th Mass. 

During that day, while some of the men not on duty were bath- 
ing in Kiawah Inlet, Private Hanford T. Griffith, of Company H, 
was drowned. Every exertion was made by his comrades to rescue 
him, unavailingly. His body was not recovered for two and a half 
hours. 

On June 6, Lieut. Eachus, of Company C, having been detailed 
for duty in the commissary department, was ordered to Beaufort. 
On the same day, Lieut. Col. Duer and Capts. Price, Mendenhall, 
McConnell and Lewis returned to the Regiment, being relieved 
from attendance upon court-martial. 

On the morning of the 11th, the Regiment Avas relieved from 
picket, by the 56th N. Y., and returned to camp. The men to 
whom furloughs had been granted, on May 6, returned from the 
north and rejoined the Regiment on the 11th. Adjt. Carruthers, 
Qr. Mr. Jones and Lieut. McGrath also returned. 

On June 12, Gen. Stevenson inspected and reviewed his brigade 
on the beach opposite the camp. 

On the 15th, Maj. Pennypacker ordered the Regiment out for 
regimental drill, being the first time since January. It was con- 
tinued, whenever practicable, while the Regiment remained on the 
island. 



1863.] THE ENEMY ATTACK THE PICKET LINES. 157 

On June 16, Gen. Hunter was relieved of the command of the 
Department of the South, by Brig. Gen. Q. A. Gi^ore, who im- 
mediately commenced preparations for active operations at the front, 
on Folly Island, and to concentrate his disposable forces on James 
Island as a feint to those operations. 

On June 18, three companies of the 10th Conn, were advanced 
outside the picket lines, as far as the old sugar mill, one and a half 
miles, where they encountered a force of cavalry and infantry. A 
brisk skirmish fire ensued, which Avas kept up as the 10th Conn, 
returned in order to the lines. The rebels followed, opening, also, 
an artillery fire upon the lines. The reserves having two pieces of 
artillery, manned by a detachment of the 3d Rhode Island Artillery, 
advanced their guns to the front and opened fire. The 97th P. 
v., being in camp three miles off, was ordered to the support of the 
picket line. Maj. Pennypacker marched the Regiment in double 
quick time to the front. The men marched eagerly and without 
straggling, anxious to reach the line in time to take a hand in the 
firing that was going on briskly between the artillery forces and in- 
fantry, which continued actively on both sides for a considerable 
time. The monitors on the Edisto River moved into position and 
opened an effective fire upon the enemy's flank. The rebels, finding 
such an energetic resistance, did not attempt to charge the lines, 
and soon retired, having one piece of artillery dismounted. The 
97th reached the front just as the enemy withdrew. Our loss was 
one man wounded and two artillery horses disabled. 

On the evening of the 19th, the movements of the enemy caused 
the monitors in the Edisto to open fire, but no advance was made. 

About June 20, many of the men of the Regiment were taken 
sick with chills and fever and diarrhoea, which continued to prevail 
for several weeks. 

On the 23d, the Regiment was paid by Maj. J. O. Mason, pay- 
master U. S. v., for the two months ending April 30, 1863. 

On the 24th, a general inspection of the Regiment was made by 
Capt. William Pratt, A. A. Insp. Gen. and Capt. Clark, A. A. Gen. 

On the 30th, the Regiment was mustered for two months' pay 
and inspected by Lieut. Col. A. P. Duer, assisted by Maj. Penny- 
packer and Adjt. Carrnthers. 

During the month, three men were discharged for disability. 

On July 2, the Regiment was again detailed for picket for the 
week, and relieved the 24th Mass. Remained upon the line until 



158 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. [^"'7- 

the 7th, with no unusual occurrence. Were then relieved by four 
companies of the 24:th Mass. and returned to camp, where orders 
awaited the Regiment to be ready to move, in light marching 
order, at short notice. The 56th N. Y., 10th Conn, and six com- 
panies of the 24th Mass. had already embarked on the transports. 

Asst. Surgeon Morrison, of the 97th, was detailed, July 7, as 
medical officer for the 24th Mass., with which he remained on duty 
about one month. 2d Lieut. George A. Lemaistre, of Company H, 
received a short leave of absence, on account of failing health, and 
returned home. Company H was commanded, during his absence, 
by Lieut. Wainwright, of Company F. Sutler John F. Forrest 
also returned home, for a short period, to procure supplies. 

The 97th P. V., remained in camp, at Seabrook, until the evening 
of the 8th, when the right companies of the Regiment went on 
board the steamer Delaware, under command of Lieut. Col. Duer, 
and the left, on the Beaufort, under command of Maj. Pennypacker, 
leaving the camp, with the sick and convalescent men who were 
unlit for duty, in charge of Capt. McConnell, of Company E. A 
small infantry force remained to guard the camp, which was pro- 
tected by the monitors in the river. 

The troops being all embarked, the expedition went to sea at 10 
A. M. on the 9th. At daylight, the fleet had arrived off Charleston, 
Fort Sumter looming up to view in the centre, the Moultrie 
House, on Sullivan's Island, on the right, and the signal lookout at 
Secessionville, James Island, on the left. At 11 A. M., the trans- 
ports of Gen. Terry's division, preceded by the gunboats Pawnee and 
Com. McDonough, the monitor Nantucket and a mortar schooner, 
entered the Stono River, came to anchor until evening, and then 
proceeded up the river, the naval vessels firing a few shell into the 
woods on each side as they advanced. The transports anchored 
opposite Legareeville for the night. 

Early on the morning of the 10th, the 104th and 52d P. V., 
commanded by Col. W. W. H. Davis, of the 104th, were landed on 
James Island, and immediately advanced a short distance, when one 
company was thrown forward as pickets, at the bridge at the head 
of the causeway, the landing being made at the point occupied by 
Gen. Stevens the preceding year. The left wing of the 97th P. V., 
having previously joined the right, on the steamer Delaware, landed 
at 4 A. M. with the remainder of Gen. Terry's division. After the 
landing had been effected, the troops stacked arras and bivouacked 



1863.] GILMORE'S OPERATIONS ON FOLLY ISLAND. 159 

until 8 A. M. Meanwhile, the line had been advanced near half 
a mile, where a picket line was established. 

The force left on Folly Island, in April, had been increased by 
detachments by the 1st N. Y. Eng., 1st U. S. Art'y, 3d R. I. Art'y 
and the 3d N. Y. Art'y, all under command of Brig. Gen. Israel 
Vogdes, of Chester County, a cousin of Capt. William Wayne, of 
the 97th, who had recently been appointed colonel of the United 
States artillery and brevet brigadier general in the United States 
army. This force had been engaged, after the suspension of 
operations in April, in clearing the impenetrable undergrowth, to 
afford camping ground, and in opening roads for the movement 
of supplies, artillery, etc., to the north end of the isla'nd, and after- 
ward, under the direction of Gen. Gimiore, in secretly erecting 
batteries for the reduction of the enemy's works on the lower end 
of Morris Island, which borders the southern entrance to Charleston 
Harbor. These operations were conducted with the utmost secrecy 
and success, the enemy being totally unaware of the progress of 
the work until the guns of Gen. Gilmore's batteries opened upon 
their position, at 4 A. M. on July 10. It had been evident, how- 
ever, that some suspicion was entertained of danger from this 
c^uarter, a heavy fire from the enemy's guns having opened occa- 
sionally upon the position, during the progress of the work, which 
killed and wounded several men; but as no reply was made, or 
other indication of its effect, probably disarmed all suspicion of there 
being any other force on Folly Island than the usual picket of ob- 
servation. When all was in readiness. Gen. Gilmore, having con- 
centrated his forces upon Folly Island, during the cover of night, 
embarked the troops designated for the assault in lighters that 
had been collected at a convenient spot in the Stono River. The 
force selected was Gen. Strong's brigade, consisting of the 76th P. 
v., 6th and 7th Conn., 3d IS". H., four companies of the 48th N. Y., 
9th Maine, and a detailed force of sharp-shooters. These embarked 
in the lighters, early in the evening of July 9, and about 11 P. M. 
began to move cautiously through the shallow channels leading 
toward Light House Inlet. At daylight, they lay behind the point 
at the mouth of the creek that passes Secessionville. Five navy 
launches, with howitzers on board, in charge of Lieut. Com. S. B. 
Bunce, executive officer of the Pawnee, convoyed the lighters, and 
when the attack commenced they moved up Light House Inlet and 
opened upon the rebel rifle pits. 



160 



HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. 



[July, 



Eyery thing being in readiness, at 4.30 A. M., on the 10th, Gen. 
Gilmore opened fire, from his batteries, upon the rebel position on 
Morris Island, carrying complete surprise to the enemy just as the 
reveille was sounded in their camps. Many officers and men were 
killed and wounded while standing at roll call. The assaulting 
force moved into line in Lighthouse Creek, the left, toward Black 
Island. A shell from the enemy struck one of the boats, sinking it 
and taking off the leg of a man of the 6th Conn.; he, however, 
swam to another boat, but died soon afterward from the loss of blood. 




SIEGE OV CHARLESTON. 



About 6.30, Gen. Strong gave orders to advance the boats and land. 
A portion of the 7th Conn., led by Capt. V. B. Chamberlain, Com- 
pany A, first reached the shore, and with a shout of triumph dashed 
forward and drove the enemy from their rifle pits, sufi"ering a small 
loss. Gen. Strong led his men gallantly in the charge upon the re- 
maining rifle pits. Then the whole force charged upon the batteries 
on the sand bluffs, capturing these in a few minutes, then closely 
followed in pursuit of the enemy, retreating toward the north end 
of Morris Island, capturing about one hundred prisoners, a large 
amount of stores, and ammunition, together with eight guns, two 
mortars, a large number of tents, camp equipage, etc. After 
passing beyond the Beacon House, the fire of the enemy's guns at 



1803.] OPERATIONS ON MORRIS AND JAMES ISLANDS. 161 

Forts Wagner and Sumter prevented any closer pursuit. Possession 
ot' more than three-fourths of the island was thus secured. 

Many of the prisoners captured were conscripts and substitutes, 
who were desirous of taking the oath of allegiance, having suffered 
untold privations, and were more pleased than otherwise with being 
captured. Several confederate flags were captured, one of which 
had inscribed upon it " Pocotaligo." 

Gen. Gillmore's loss was eighteen killed, ninety-six wounded and 
two taken prisoners, a total loss of one hundred and sixteen. Gen. 
Beauregard subsequently reported his loss at three hundred, killed 
and wounded, including sixteen officers. 

To resume the account of Gen. Terry's operations on James 
Island, intended originally as a feint to withdraw the attention of 
the enemy from the preparations going on at Folly Island; the 97th 
P. V. had been detailed for picket soon after landing and at 8 A. M. 
started toward the front. On the march, they received the news of 
the capture of the enemy's works, on Morris Island, by Gen. 
Strong's brigade, which had just been signalled to Gen. Terry from 
the station on Folly Island, in charge of Lieut. Weber and the men 
of the 97th upon that service. It was welcome news indeed; the men 
cheered lustily and advanced to the front in fine spirits. The picket 
line had been established near the one held last year by Gen. 
Stevens' command, the enemy's pickets being in sight of the posi- 
tion. Heavy firing was heard during most of the day from the 
iron-clad fleet, which had crossed the bar at the entrance to the 
harbor and participated with Gen. Gillmore's advance. On July 10, 
Col. Guss visited the Regiment on James Island and was gladly 
welcomed by aU. 

In consequence of a rearrangement of troops, by Gen. Gillmore, 
after the withdrawal of Col. Guss' command from Botany Bay, it 
was determined to assign him to the command of a brigade to which 
his own regiment might be again attached. Pending this arrange- 
ment, he was directed to report to Gen. A. H. Terry for duty and 
was by that officer temporarily attached to his staff" as its chief, he 
being thoroughly familiar with the strategic position and condition 
of James Island, from his regiment having participated with the 
operations of the previous year. He was the only officer of his 
rank present who had the same experience. When Gen. Terry's 
division was ordered to Morris Island, Col. Guss resumed command 
of his Jlegiment and led it in the assault upon Fort Wagner. He 
11 



162 HISTORY OP THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. ^^'''7- 

remained with it until assigned to the command of the 1st brigade, 
in which Gens. Strong and Vogdes had preceded him. 

On the 11th, the picket line was advanced some distance, sup- 
ported by the 104th and the 52d P. V. and the 66th N. Y. and 54th 
Mass. (colored) on the right, and by the 24th Mass., 10th Conn, 
and 97th P. V. on the left. The entire force bivouacked, in line of 
battle, in rear of the picket line, during the night following. 
While the line was being advanced, the gunboat Pawnee fired a few 
shot at Tower Battery (our old acquaintance), near Secessionville. 

Near the same time, the steamer General Hunter was fired into, 
from John's Island, by rebel sharp-shooters The Commodore Mc- 
Donough threw some shell in return, which dispersed the rebels. 
The troops continued to bivouac, in line of battle, near the picket 
line, until July 12, when they encamped in a field half a mile from 
the landing, the left of the camp flanked by an impassable swamp. 
The men being without tents had only the shelter of gum blankets. 

On the 12th, heavy firing was kept up during the day in Charles- 
ton Harbor. The gunboats in Stono River shelled rebel scouting 
parties on John's Island. A portion of the 54th Mass. was sent to 
Legareeville, on picket. 

At 5 P. M., on the 13th, Companies B, C, G, H and I were de- 
tailed for picket and occupied the centre of the line. Remained 
without particular incident, until 5 P. M., on the 14th, when these 
companies were relieved by the other companies of the Regiment. 
They continued on duty until the evening of the 1 5th, when they 
were relieved by the 10th Conn. The 54th Mass. occupied the right 
of the picket line at that time. 

At 4 A. M., on July 16, the rebels attacked the picket line with 
great vigor. The 10th Conn, and 54th Mass. made a determined 
resistance, but, the rebels advancing in force, they were compelled 
to retire, disputing every inch of ground. Many of the 54th Mass. 
had remained at their posts until overpowered and slain, and were 
then horribly mutilated where they fell. 

A rebel battery of six pieces, twelve-pounders, had been ad- 
vanced, on the left, to a position in rear of the buildings on Grim- 
ball's Plantation, close under the guns of the Pawnee, and opened 
fire upon her with great energy, firing fifty-two shot before she 
could return the fire. The attack being made just at the turn of 
the tide, it was a considerable time before she could be got in posi- 
tion to turn her guns upon the enemy, which, however, was at 



1863.1 ACTION AT STEVBNS' LANDING, JAMES ISLAND. 163 

length accomplished, when a few well-directed shot sent them rapidly 
to a more safe place with their battery. The rebels, in the mean- 
time, had advanced in force upon Gen. Terry's position. Gen. 
Stevenson's brigade occupied the right of the front line and Col. 
Shaw's 54th Mass. the left. Col. W. W. H. Davis' brigade, with 
the 2d S. C, Col. Montgomery, held the second line, one hun- 
dred yards in rear of the first. Thus disposed, Gen. Terry's forces 
awaited the approach of the enemy, whose object, evidently, was 
to capture the entire force or to drive it from the island, no doubt 
with the belief that Gen. Terry had no artillery landed. Prisoners, 
subsequently captured, reported that intelligence to that effect had 
been given the enemy by a deserter from our lines, who had been 
held subject to be shot if his information should prove to be in- 
correct. The enemy rapidly pushed forward a battery of twelve- 
pounders, on the right, to within a short distance of our lines, open- 
ing a brisk fire upon the tents and ambulances in the rear, in 
view from their position. The men, having been ordered to lie 
down, were not exposed to view; they thus escaped the severity of 
the fire directed just over them. One of the sick in the hospital 
was mortally wounded by the first fire. One of the Massachusetts 
cavalrymen was also wounded and his horse killed. The main body 
of the enemy had approached, under cover of the irregularity of the 
ground, very near to our position and began deploying their lines 
across the open field to cover our front. 

After the artillery of the enemy had fired five shots, the guns of 
the 1st Conn. Art'y, Capt. Rockwell, opened in reply, dismounting, 
at the first fire, two of the enemy's guns, killing several men and 
three of their horses. Their guns only fired two shot afterward. A 
well-directed artillery fire was then poured into the ranks of the 
infantry advancing in front, Terry's infantry being stiU concealed 
from their view by the rise in the ground. The enemy's advance 
was suddenly brought to a halt and the command, "About face; in 
retreat, march," was given, the orders being distinctly heard. Our 
men, impatiently expecting the order to open fire upon the ad- 
vancing foe, were now more eager to be up and after them; but 
Gen. Terry, being in communication, by signal telegraph, with Gen. 
Gillmore, on Folly Island, had been ordered to await the approach 
of the enemy upon his position, and to give battle on that ground 
if they should venture close enough, but in no event to follow, or 
risk a general engagement outside his position, the enemy being in 



164 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH EEGIMENT. ["^"'y- 

greatly superior force, and capable of maintaining their ground if 
followed to their own well-intrenched position. The force numbered 
about four thousand men, including a brigade of Stonewall Jack- 
son's corps; also some Georgia and North Carolina regiments, all 
under command of the rebel Gen. Shepley. Gen. Terry was also 
aware that the movement upon James Island was intended to 
occupy the attention of the enemy as much as possible while more 
important operations were directed against Morris Island. 

The artillery fire continued to hasten the retreat of the enemy. 
A skirmish line was sent forward to follow them as far as the line 
formerly occupied. This force captured eight or ten stragglers and 
brought in the killed and wounded. The picket line was imme- 
diately re-established. 

Company B, of the 97th, under 1st Lieut. Savage, was ordered 
out as a part of the skirmish force. Sergt. Nichols, of that com- 
pany, captured a sergeant of the 19th Ga., and handed him over to 
Gen. Terry. The enemy carried off many of their wounded and a 
few of their killed. The 54th Mass. suiFered most heavily, as they 
occupied the part of the line most vigorously attacked. Our entire 
loss was eight killed and twenty-four wounded. The enemy's must 
have been very much gTeater. A memorandum of the loss in two 
North Carolina regiments in this action, afterward found in the 
pocket of a rebel soldier, captured on Morris Island, stated that it 
amounted to one hundred and twenty-five. 

On the evening of July 16, Gen. Terry received orders to eva- 
cuate James Island. The troops embarked on transports during 
the night. Company F, being detailed for duty, at the landing, 
was engaged during the entire night loading heavy ordnance and 
ordnance stores of the battery, having to work in mud and water 
nearly waist deep, a service not relished by the men, who could not 
well understand why infantry troops should be compelled to work 
all night in the mud and wet, handling the ordnance stores for 
artillerymen, who marched past them, while at work, dry shod, on 
pontoons, to the transports. Any little cursing that was done just 
then by Company F was regarded as quite natural if not excmable. 

The 97th P. V., being left to cover the embarkation, was the last 
regiment to leave the island, at 3 A. M., on the 17th, going on 
board the transport Island City. Then steamed down the river to 
Folly Island. Landed at sunrise and stacked arms near the beach, 
where the men were allowed to rest during the day, under shelter 



1863.] JAMES ISLAND EVACUATED. MORRIS ISLAND. 165 

of their blankets. At dark, started on the march up the beach 
toward Morris Island. Reached Lighthouse Inlet, at midnight, 
having marched about seven miles. At this point, Gen. Terry re- 
ceived orders to detach from his command Gen. Stevenson's brigade, 
Col. Shaw's 54th Mass. and the 2d S. C, with orders to report to 
Gen. Strong, on Morris Island, and to retain Col. W. W. H. Davis' 
brigade, with himself in command of the forces, on Folly Island. 
This was, of course, a great disappointment to both Gen. Terry and 
his troops, who desired to have him continue in command on Morris 
Island. In the endeavor to secure this. Gen. Terry went over to 
see if Gen. GiUmore would not permit him to lead his division in 
the expected assault upon Fort Wagner. With what success was 
not then ascertained, but within the next two days the fortunes of 
war had placed Gen. Terry in a more important command than he 
had yet held, being the second in the department. 

When the troops which were to cross to Morris Island reached 
Lighthouse Inlet, lighters were found in readiness for each company, 
into which they entered and rowed across in the darkness and rain, 
the landing spot being indicated by a light stationed on the oppo- 
site side. After all the companies had landed, the Regiment was 
formed in line and marched, during a drenching rain, about half a 
mile and halted among the sand hills. Arms were then stacked, 
and the men ordered to lie down for the night where they halted. 
Rubber blankets were the only shelter. The pouring rgiin had 
already soaked every portion of the clothing, so all lay down with- 
out any effort to find comfort or shelter and, being very tired, were 
soon silent in sound sleep. Such rest as could be found was en- 
tirely undisturbed by complaining that could bring no relief to 
discomfort. 

The morning of the 18th found the men wet, hungry and but 
httle rested after the night's march, but the cooks soon had the 
coffee boilers steaming, and the clouds breaking away, the sun dried 
their wet clothes, while draughts of the invigorating Mocha put 
new Hfe and spirits into the tired bodies of the men, who leisurely 
began the next work after the meal, which a soldier always looks 
to, cleaning his gun and accoutrements. These were required to be 
put in order preparatory to a general- review that was ordered for 
5 P. M., a significant proceeding which all knew meant business 
soon after. 

When Gen. Strong's forces had driven the enemy from the lower 



166 HISTOET OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. ^■'^"'J'' 

end of Morris Island, on the 10th, it had been intended to follow 
up his success by an immediate assault upon Fort Wagner, then held 
by a strong garrison, under Col. Lawrence M. Keitt, but the men were 
found to have become too much exhausted by their morning's work 
and the excessive heat of the day. The attack was, therefore, post- 
poned until the next day and the troops allowed to rest. Some light 
defensive lines were thrown up across the narrow strip of land to 
prevent an assault from the enemy. 

On the 11th, soon after midnight. Gen. Strong advanced his 
forces to within a short distance of the fort and, having selected the 
7th Conn., 76th P. V. and the 9th Maine to lead the assault in the 
order named, held his remaining force in reserve. The enemy's 
pickets were encountered about two hundred yards from the work 
and driven to the shelter of the fort. The 7th Conn., led by Lieut. 
Col. D. C. Rodman, then advanced with a loud cheer under a severe 
fire of grape and canister and, dashing forward, reached the crest of 
the works. 

The 76th P. V., at the same time, charged upon another angle of 
the work, led by Maj. John W. Hicks, with great gallantry in the 
face of a withering fire. Maj. Hicks and many other officers and 
men were wounded, but the regiment pressed forward, its ranks 
fearfully thinned as it ascended the glacis, the moat was crossed 
and the parapet reached by many of the brave fellows who were 
there s^ept down just upon the threshold of success. The 9th 
Maine followed bravely through the fearful fire until its ranks were 
mowed down by the enemy's guns, then halted and again advanced, 
gallantly trying to face the ordeal, but the destructive fire from the 
parapet swept down the advancing ranks and drove back those who 
had reached the crest, but were unable to enter. The order to 
retreat being given, the destruction became even more fatal. Lieut. 
Col. Rodman was severely wounded, his leg being shattered. He 
was almost the only one brought off from the slopes of the work. 
The 76th P. V. left upon the glacis and in the moat one hundred 
and thirty men and five officers, of about three hundred and fifty 
who were engaged in the action. The 7th Conn, lost one hundred 
and three, killed, wounded and missing ; the 9th Maine, thirty-four, 
and the 3d N. H. one killed and one wounded. 

After this unsuccessful effort, it was evident that a larger force 
would be requisite to carry Fort Wagner by assault, or its reduc- 
tion accomplished by regular siege. The necessary preparations to 




1863.] MORRIS ISLAND. FIRST ASSAULT ON FORT WAGNER. 167 

begin the work were immediately entered upon and operations com- 
menced on the 13th. ' 

Early on the morning of the 14th, the enemy made a sortie from 
Fort Wagner upon Gen. Strong's position, but his pickets were too 
well upon the alert to be surprised. 
After a sharp contest, the enemy 
was driven back. Our loss was one 
killed, two wounded and one taken 
prisoner. 

The first line, located near the 
Beacon House, at a distance of 
seventeen hundred yards from Fort 
Wagner, was completed by the 17th, 
notwithstanding the enemy's vigor- 
ous fire upon the men at work in beacon house. 
the trenches. 

The guns and mortars were removed from the batteries on Folly 
Island, brought forward and mounted in the works upon Morris 
Island. By the morning of the 18th, these were placed in position 
in the following order; on the right, four three-inch rifled pieces; 
next, six ten-pounder Parrotts; next to these, two thirty-pounder 
Parrotts and three eight-inch siege mortars in place on the left of 
the parallel. Besides these there had been erected what were known 
as the Left Batteries, in which were mounted four twenty-pounder 
Parrotts, four eight-inch mortars and three thirty-pounder Parrotts. 
This was the situation upon the morning after Gen. Stevenson's 
brigade landed on Morris Island. 

Gen. Gillmore now determined upon making another effort to 
carry Fort Wagner by a more formidable force thrown against it, 
after a bombardment should have silenced its guns, if possible, or 
weakened its defensive force. Accordingly, a most effective fire was 
concentrated upon it by the land batteries and by the naval fleet in 
the harbor, consisting of the formidable New Ironsides, monitors 
Weehawken, Patapsco, Nahant and Catskill and gunboat Paul 
Jones, which ran within close range of the work and opened an 
incessant and brilliant fire. The land batteries also made most ex- 
cellent work, their firing being quite accurate. These were in 
charge of Lieut. Col. Richard H. Jackson, captain 1st U. S. Art'y, 
on the right, and Maj. James E. Bailey, 3d R. I. Art'y, on the left. 
The enemy replied from Fort Wagner occasionally, but more vigor- 



168 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. t"^"'^' 

ously from Forts Sumter, Johnson, Moultrie, Battery Gregg and 
Battery Bee. The rebel flag on Fort Wagner was struck by a shell 
which cut the staff and halliards away. A regimental flag was soon 
put up on the parapet and afterward a confederate flag near it. 
By 4 P. M., there was no further response from Fort Wagner, the 
concentrated fire having driven the men from their guns to the 
shelter of their bombproofs. 

At the appointed hour, 5 P. M., Gen. Gillmore reviewed all the 
troops not on duty at the front, on the beach near his head- 
quarters, in sight of Forts Sumter and Moultrie. A few shell were 
thrown from the latter that did not quite reach the position. In 




KEW IRONSIDES AND MONITORS. 



half an hour after the review was over. Gen. Stevenson's brigade 
and Col. Shaw's 54th Mass., having been ordered to prepare to join 
the forces at the front, to participate in the assault, were on the 
march toward Fort Wagner. Meanwhile, the incessant firing upon 
both sides, with the shot and shell crashing overhead, or whizzing 
in close proximity to the advancing ranks, was an experience that 
told of active service close at hand. The men marched steadily 
and silently forward, still nearer to the enemy's works as the 
gathering darkness, obscuring the view, caused the fire to be dis- 
continued. Gen. Strong's brigade had, during the day, occupied a 
position near the batteries on the left. He now moved up near to 
an old house at the right batteries. Col. Putnam's brigade had 
remained during the day at the bluffs, at the right of the Beacon 
House. When Gen. Strong moved forward he advanced to his 
support, both forces being now deployed across the open land, ad- 



1863.] MORKIS ISLAND. SECOND ASSAULT ON FORT WAGNER. 169 

vancing within six hundred yards of Fort Wagner. Gen. Steven- 
son's brigade had, at this time, reached a position to the left of the 
Beacon House. He was then directed to move up the beach to a 
position near the old house. The entire forcie advanced to the 
designated places in steady tramp, while the thoughts of all were 
impressively occupied with a feeling of the desperate encounter in 
which they were soon to participate. Some must fall; but who 
could tell what home was destined to receive the fatal message that 
their loved one had fallen amid the darkness and the conflict that 
was now so near at hand. But all pressed forward where duty 
called, hoping and trusting. 

Heavy black clouds overspread the sky, rendering the darkness 
more complete. The 54th Mass. had been designated to lead the 
assault. When moving from their camp, after the review, they 
were cheered by all the troops as they passed to the right of the 
column. The enemy had opened fire from the time the old house 
was reached by Gen. Strong's troops. This increased in intensity as 
the other forces advanced. The guns of Fort Wagner swept the 
beach while the barbette guns of Fort Sumter and Cummings' 
Point enfiladed the flank. The air was filled with deadly missiles 
from every quarter, yet the men dashed bravely on at double quick 
over the last six hundred yards. Col. Shaw leading the 24th Mass., 
followed by Strong's and Putman's brigades, in the order named, 
Gen. Seymour being in command of the assault. 

As the troops pressed forward, the clear commands of the 
officers were heard, amid the crash of battle, cheering the men, 
who responded as they sprang on, over the ditches and up 
the slopes, in successive regimental lines. The ranks of the 
foremost were shattered and broken by the incessant fire. The 
ground was cumbered by the wounded and dying, over whose 
bodies the rear regiments had to climb to reach the top, where they 
encountered the bayonets of the determined foe, yet they pressed 
on. Many gained the crest and drove the enemy from their guns 
upon the curtain of the works. A few reached that part of the 
parapet from which they could fire upon the entrances to the 
bombproof in view. But the enemy from behind the traverses 
and bastions kept up such a terrible and incessant fire that 
our troops suff'ered intensely, being unable in the darkness to 
overcome the advantage of the enemy's more accurate knowledge 
of the position, which resulted in deciding the contest against the 



170 HISTOEY OF THE NINETT-SEVENTH REGIMENT. ^^"'7' 

Utmost valor and unflinching perseverance of the brave and gallant 
men, who had reached the perilous crest of the vs^ork only to meet 
the death-dealing storm of shot, shell and hand-grenades that were 
hurled upon them from the greatly superior numbers within the 
shelter of the works. To particularize the deeds of valor of the 
diff'erent brigades and regiments would be useless when all did so 
well and bravely. The 6th Conn., led by its gallant colonel, John 
L. Chatfield, charged twice over a traverse to capture a gun that 
was sweeping grape and canister through the ranks. But he fell, 
severely wounded, and his men were at last compelled to fall back 
to the shelter of the slope. Col. Chatfield lay for two hours where 
he fell. He was assisted by a private of another regiment, also 
wounded, who scraped a trench beside the colonel's body, in which 
he found shelter from the enemy's fire, and afterward helped him 
to a place of safety. The colonel, however, died of his wounds, a 
few weeks later, at his home in Connecticut. 

The 54th Mass. at the outset made a brave and desperate charge, 
led by its intrepid commander. Col. Robert G. Shaw. But the 
enemy, recognizing the presence of colored troops, concentrated a 
storm of grape, canister and musketry that mowed them down with 
fearful slaughter. They then made a rush to capture the colors of 
the 54th. The color sergeant, Henry W. Carney, had been shot 
dead in the charge, but another had grasped them and carried them 
to the front. In the desperate encounter that ensued for possession 
of the colors, by the enemy, the men of the 54th fought desperately. 
The bayonets, in a hand-to-hand struggle, clashed and gleamed in 
the flashes of light, while the flags were alternately siezed by each 
party to be retaken in turn. The 54th was finally overcome and 
driven back by the superior numbers that confronted the remnant. 
They brought off with them one tattered flag and the staff of the 
other, from which every shred of the flag had been torn in the fear- 
ful strife. 

Col. Shaw was buried by the enemy, where he fell, with twenty- 
two of his brave men who were found fallen at his side. . 

For nearly, half an hour the 1st brigade continued a hand-to- 
hand fight with the enemy. Nearly every commissioned ofiicer was 
shot down. When the hopelessness of longer continuance was ap- 
parent, Maj. Josiah G. Plympton, of the 3d N. H., brought off the 
remnant of Gen. Strong's brigade. 

Col. Putnam's brigade had been advanced closely in support of 



1863.J MORRIS ISLAND. SECOND ASSAULT ON FORT WAGNER. 171 

Gen. Strong's movements. The officers met and endeavored to rally 
the straggling forces that were in retreat from the front. Finally, 
Lieut. Col. Joseph C. Abbott, of the 7th N. H., massed his men 
with a portion of the 100th N. Y., and advanced to the parapet of 
the fort, while a part of Gen. Strong's brigade still held their po- 
sition upon that part of the work. 

Uol. Putnam had also advanced and occupied a part of the 
work from which Gen. Strong's forces had retired. He was here 
soon joined by Gen. Strong, and, after a short conference, the 
latter devoted his attention to rallying some stragglers upon the 
slopes, and to direct the troops coming up against a point from 
which the enemy was keeping up a concentrated fire to prevent 
reinforcements from reaching the slopes. While thus engaged. Gen. 
Strong was struck by a discharge from a howitzer, severely wound- 
ing him in the thigh. He was immediately borne from the field 
and his wound dressed at the sanitary commission. He was subse- 
quently taken to Hilton Head and to New York, where he died 
from lockjaw, caused by his wound,, on July 30, 1863. 

Gen. Seymour was painfully wounded while hurrying up re- 
inforcements, by a grape shot striking his foot. One of his aids, 
Lieut. S. S. Stevens, 6th Conn., was killed at the same time. 

The remnant of Gen. Strong's and Col. Putnam's brigades, upon 
the parapet and slopes of the fort, had dwindled down to a scattered 
few, who found but slight shelter from the incessant fire directed 
upon them. Originally intended as a support. Col. Putnam's bri- 
gade found but few at the front to support, as most of the 1st 
brigade had been killed, wounded or captured. The situation was 
most critical: to retreat now would be equally fatal as to remain 
before the concentrated storm of grape, canister, and. the fire of over 
one thousand rebel rifles from behind the traverses and bastions of 
the work. 

The gallant Col. Putnam was, however, undaunted. He en- 
couraged his men to hold on until reinforcements should arrive. 
His last words were: "Hold on for a minute, brave men. Our re- 
inforcements are coming!" As he spoke, he was, struck in the fore- 
head by a Minie ball, and fell dead. The loss of such a com- 
mander at such a time was disastrous in the extreme. The men 
were disheartened. The dangers they had encountered demoralized 
them less than the loss of almost all their brave leaders. To return 
the fire of the enemy, now seemed to invite the concentrated fire 



172 



HISTOKT OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. 



[July, 



from their concealed positions where they lay watching for the 
target of flashing muskets. In addition to this, the troops upon the 
slopes of the work had, from the first moment of assault, suffered 
severely from the fire of the men in the rear, directed upon the rebel 
works. Never was the advantage of Gen. Anthony Wayne's order 
to the storming party at Stony Point, to "Empty your cartridge 
boxes and trust to your bayonets," more apparent than then. Had 
the order been now repeated, the loss and demoralization of our 
forces would have been greatly lessened and the chances of success 
largely increased. 

The shattered remnant of Col. Putnam's command, now impressed 
with the hopelessness of longer continuance of the effort, gathered 
up some of their wounded, and reluctantly retired at the moment 
that Gen. Stevenson's brigade was being hastened forward, to the 
support of those upon the slopes of the work, by Col. John W. 
Turner, assistant adjutant general and chief of staff to Gen. Gill- 
more. But the order to move forward came too late to be of avail, 

save to ensure the sacrifice 
L -.^^_ of a third brigade in detail, 

as nothing better could be 
hoped for after the unsuc- 
cessful efforts of two of the 
bravest and best in the ser- 
vice that had been so gal- 




FOKT WAGNER AT POINT OF ASSAl'LT. 



lantly, yet unavailingly, led 
against a work so formidable and so desperately defended. 

Gen. Stevenson's brigade had been held in reserve to support the 
movement, if successful, or to cover the retreat if it should prove 
otherwise. The latter alternative now devolved upon the brigade. 

The duty of gathering up and covering the shattered columns of 
the division, under the guns of the enemy and the galling fire of 
musketry, shot and shell from the impregnable fortress, was a work 
scarcely less hazardous than a continuance of the assault. During 
the attack, the brigade had occupied a position near the outer line 
of defence, awaiting Gen. Stevenson's orders, within range of the 
fire of Forts Sumter and Johnson, the shells from which fell near 
and exploded over the brigade but did little injury. An aid of Gen. 
Seymour came to Col. Guss, with orders for the 97th P. V. to ad- 
vance, stating that Strong's and Putman's forces had entered Fort 
Wagner and were engaged in a hand-to-hand conflict with the 



1863.] MORRIS ISLAND. SKCOND ASSAULT ON FORT WAGNER. 173 

enemy and needed immediate help to secure possession. The order 
claimed to have the sanction of Gen. Stevenson, but owing to the 
conflicting intelligence received from the front, and the perplexity 
attendant upon the extreme darkness of the night, it was impossible 
to be entirely satisfied of the reliability of a verbal order from an 
aid not personally known to the officer receiving it. The Eegiment 
was immediately advanced, by Col. Guss, under a heavy fire of 
musketry. After marching about two hundred yards, meeting a 
large number of wounded and demoralized soldiers, straggling back. 
Gen. Stevenson appeared at the head of the Regiment and then 
rode rapidly toward the fort. He soon returned, ordered a " Halt, 
about face," and sent the Regiment back to its former position. In 
a few minutes, he ordered a detail of three companies, with a field 
ofiicer in command, to report immediately at the abattis on the beach. 
The detail, consisting of Company A, Capt. Guss; Company F, Capt. 
Lewis, and Company H, temporarily in command of Capt. Haw- 
kins, was commanded by Lieut. Col. A. P. Duer, and immediately 
reported to Gen. Stevenson, near the front, who said to Col. Duer: 
"It is reported to me that our troops have effected a lodgment upon 
one angle of the fort and retain possession of it. You will move 
up and ascertain if this is correct, and, if true, you will open com- 
munication with that force and render whatever assistance is re- 
quired." 

As Lieut. Col. Duer's command advanced, he encountered the 
pickets of the enemy, which had been already restored to their 
position outside the works, and which immediately opened a sharp 
fire upon his force. He was, therefore, convinced that our troops 
held no part of the works, and, accordingly, in obedience to Gen. 
Stevenson's further order, proceeded to extend his line from the 
beach to the swamp, pressing back the enemy's pickets to the shel- 
ter of their works so as to cover the men engaged in bearing off the 
wounded. While thus engaged. Col. Duer was approached by an 
officer of Gen. Gillmore's staff, who inquired why the line was 
not picketed. Col. Duer replied that he had received no orders 
to picket; that his instructions were, if he should find no force 
in possession of any part of the fort, to extend his line between the 
enemy and those engaged in bringing off the wounded. He was 
then ordered to advance a picket line nearer the enemy and to 
remain until regularly relieved. 

During the night, upon information being received by Gen. Ste- 



174 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. [•'^"'J 

venson to the effect that many of our men still remained in posses 
sion of a portion of the fort, he ordered Lieiit. Col. Duer to send ar 
officer and ten men to reconnoitre the work. This was done hj 
Lieut. Cosgriff, of Company F, who advanced close up to the slopes 
but was compelled to retire by the fire of the enemy. His men 
however, brought off a wounded officer of the 54th Mass., who was 
carried to the field hospital, near Light House Inlet. 

An additional detail of four companies, C, D, E and I, undei 
command of Capt. Price, of Company C, was also ordered to report, 
without arms, to Gen. Stevenson, on the beach, near Fort Wagner. 
These companies were directed to gather up the wounded and carry 
them back to a point where the ambulances could come to convey 
them to the hospital. This duty was faithfully continued until 
daylight rendered it necessary for the men to retire beyond the 
range of the enemy's sharp-shooters. During the night, the enemy 
threw shot and shell continually over the ground where the men 
were seeking for the wounded, but no casualties occurred. The 
firing, however, so seriously frightened the ambulance drivers as to 
cause them to start off their teams at a run as soon as their load 
of wounded soldiers was ready, regardless of the piercing cries of 
the poor sufferers. This was summarily and effectually stopped by 
sending an armed guard with each wagon, with orders to shoot the 
driver if he drove out of a walk. Gen. Stevenson, upon being ap- 
prised of the responsibility assumed by the officer in command, gave 
his hearty approval of the order. He remained the entire night 
at the front, superintending in person and co-operating with the offi- 
cers and men engaged in the removal of the wounded, manifesting 
an interest most commendable, being particularly anxious that every 
wounded colored soldier should be brought off, saying to Capt. Price: 
" You know how much harder they will fare at the hands of the 
enemy than white men." The search for the wounded during the 
early part of the night was pushed to the moat and slopes of the 
fort by our men, who lay on the ground and crept along under cover 
of the darkness and whatever irregularities of the ground might 
favor approach, listening for the groans of the wounded as a guide 
to find them, having to drag them along the ground to such shelter 
as permitted them to be carried away by others toward the rear. 
Instances of greater heroism observed in many cases on that night 
could hardly be realized outside such experiences among the brave 
men of the Army of the Republic. These deeds, though they 



1863.] MORRIS ISLAND. SECOND ASSAULT ON FORT WAGNER. 175 

remain unwritten, cannot be lost, for they are engraved upon an 
imperishable record where every action is noted. It was a sad and 
anxious night's work, never to be forgotten by those engaged in bear- 
ing off the fallen ones from that thickly strewn field. Many sacred 
scenes and touching incidents filled the heart with sympathies, 
while the similarity of occasion in the midst of dead and dying 
comrades at the midnight hour, seemed to recall the beautiful lines 
of Eev. Charles Wolf, in the burial of Sir John Moore, causing the 
lips to move in spontanous utterance : 

"Not a drum was beard, not a funeral note, 
As his corse to the rampart we hurried; 
Not a soldier discharged his farewell shot 
O'er the grave where our hero we buried. 

"We buried him darkly, at dead of night. 
The sod with our bayonets turning; 
By the struggling moonbeams' misty light, 
And the lantern dimly burning. 



" And we knew by the distant random gun, 
That the foe was sullenly firing." 

The detachment, under command of Capt. Price, was engaged in 
the sacred mission of gathering up and bringing off their Avounded 
and dying comrades, during the entire night. At daylight, it was 
ordered to rejoin the Regiment at the position occupied the previous 
evening, near the palisades, where it remained, as a part of the re- 
serve force, during the 19th. 

By morning, the position occupied by Lieut. Col. Duer's force was 
found to be one of extreme peril and exposure. The men were 
compelled to seek shelter from the irregularities of the ground and 
by scratching holes in the sand with their hands and bayonets, 
having to lie close through the following day without chance of 
stirring from their positions. During the morning, several wounded 
soldiers, who had not been reached in the night, were seen trying 
to crawl toward the line. Rebel sharp-shooters commenced to fire 
upon them and some were bayoneted. A detachment of sharp- 
shooters crawled forward and returned the fire with effect, causing 
the enemy to desist from such barbarism. Gen. Gillmore having 
asked for a cessation of hostilities, for the purpose of burying the 



176 HISTORY OF THE NINETT-SEVENTH REGIMENT. 1"^"'^- 

dead, it was agreed to by the enemy and continued from 10 A. M. 
until 4 P. M. The remainder of the wounded were then brought 
in and the dead buried. At the hour named, firing again com- 
menced from the iron-clad fleet, the forts, and along the entire line. 

Gen. Gillmore's official reports set down the loss as follows : Brig. 
Gen. George G. Strong's brigade, ten officers and twenty-two men 
killed; thirty-eight officers and four hundred and thirty-six men 
wounded; fifteen officers and three hundred and fourteen men 
missing. Total loss, sixty-three officers and seven hundred and 
seventy-two men; aggregate, eight hundred and thirty-five. Col. 
Haldimand S. Putnam's brigade, fifteen officers and twenty-two 
men killed; thirty-four officers and three hundred and fifty-seven 
men wounded; six officers and two hundred and six men missing. 
Total loss, fifty-five officers Etnd five hundred and eighty-five men; 
aggregate, six hundred and forty. Being a loss to the two brigades 
of one hundred and eighteen officers and thirteen hundred and fifty- 
seven men ; aggregate, fourteen hundred and seventy-five. 

In addition to Gens. Strong and Seymour, the following staff offi- 
cers were killed or wounded: 1st Lieut. Townsend S. Hatfield, 48th 
N. Y., acting signal officer, wounded; 2d Lieut. Stephen S. Stevens, 
6th Conn , acting aid-de-camp, killed; both were officers of Gen. Sey- 
mour's staff; Maj. .John H. Filler,* 55th P. V., acting aid-de-camp 



*0n the day after the 97th P. V landed on Morris Island, Maj. John H. Fil- 
ler, of the 55th P. V., visited the officers of the Regiment, at head-quarters, then 
established under a tent-fly among the sand hills. The day was excessively hot. 
The only shade to be found was the little square patch measured by the canvas 
upon the burning sand. A breeze from the seaward tempered a little the other- 
wise scorching heat. The major remained to dine, or rather to lunch, on coffee, 
hard-tack and bacon, and, by his inimitable humor and originality, contributed a 
spicy dessert to the frugal meal, interspersing wit and mirthfulness that rendered 
less dreary the desert of the sand hills. Conversation turning upon the expected 
assault in the evening, the major avowed his determination to remain and see it 
out. Accordingly, when the advance was made, he accompanied the leading 
brigade to the front, as an aid to Gen. Strong. Dashing gallantly into the as- 
sault, he gained the crest of the work with the leading force. He was soon 
favored with a nearer view of the rebel stronghold than was pleasant under the 
circumstances. A sally being made by the enemy, he was captured and taken 
inside, where (it is reported) his first salutation was: "Got anything to drink in 

this hot climate, for I'm dry." He did not remain a prisoner very long. 

Being exchanged, he returned to his command and participated in subsequent 
operations with his regiment, and was afterward promoted to lieutenant colonel 
and colonel of his regiment. 



^^®^^ MORRIS ISLAND. SIEGE OF CHARLESTON. 177 

to Gen. Strong, taken prisoner; Maj. Josiah G. Plympton, 3d N. 
H., acting assistant inspector general to Gen. Strong, wounded; 
Adjt. Alvan H. Libbey, 3d N. H., acting assistant adjutant general, 
killed, 2d Lieut. Edwin H. Hickok, 76th P. V., acting signal 
officer, wounded. Of the number reported missing, most were sub- 
sequently ascertained to be either killed or wounded.* The enemy 
reported that they had buried six hundred and ten of our men, in- 
eluding Cols. Putnam and Shaw, who were buried where they fell 
upon the parapet. The enemy's loss was reported at about one 
hundred and twenty, killed, wounded and captured. 

At 11 P. M., on the 19th, Companies A, F and H were relieved 
by Col. Joshua B. Howell's brigade and a portion of the 13th Ind., 
during which time the enemy opened fire again from Fort Wagner, 
when these companies rejoined the Regiment. It immediately after 
marched to the lower end of Morris Island and occupied the ground 
upon which it had bivouacked the night after landing upon the 
island. Some of the men of Col. Duer's command had been upon 
duty at the front for seventy- two hours. They soon threw themselves 
down and found their coveted rest in unbroken sleep for several 
hours. Here the camp of the Eegiment was established, under 
shelter tents until the company tents and baggage were received 
from Seabrook Island. It was impossible to form the usual lines of 
streets, owing to the irregular shape of the ground between the 
high sand hills; the tents were, therefore, pitched in the most avail- 



*The hospitals on Morris Island were at this time in charge of Surgeon John 
J. Craven, U. S. Vols, (acting medical director in the absence of Surgeon Charles 
H. Crane, U. S. A.) He was ably supported by Dr. M. M. Marsh, agent of the 
Sanitary Commission, and by Miss Clara H. Barton, a most efficient co-worker in 
behalf of the suffering soldiers, who remained steadfastly at the post of duty 
during the entire siege. She afterward, in the spring of 1864, joined the Army 
of the James. Maj. Gen. Butler having, at the instance of his chief medical 
officer. Surgeon Charles McCormick, TJ. S. A., acknowleged her past services, 
appreciating her abilities, gave her a position which greatly enhanced her useful- 
ness and enabled her to contribute largely to the welfare and comfort of the army 
in that year. Her presence at the base hospital of the 10th Corps at the Point 
of Rocks, Va., during the summer of 1864 was most gratefully appreciated by 
all who received the benefit of her services. In March, 1865, President Lincoln 
appointed her correspondent for the friends of paroled prisoners. She afterward 
organized a bureau of friends of missing men of the armies of the United States,, 
at Washington, which proved of inestimable service. Her devotion to her work, 
was unabated and unwavering. 

12 



178 HISTOR"? OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. fJ^^'^' 

able manner. The men soon had their bunks arranged, and were 
glad of comfortable shelter after being exposed so long. 

After the second disaster at Fort Wagner, Gen. Gillmore deter- 
mined to accomplish, by regular lines of approach, the downfall of 
the rebel stronghold which had hitherto seemed so impregnable to 
assault. Lines of intrenchments were projected, upon which heavy 
details of men set to work digging trenches and piling up walls of 
sand-bags, against which banks of loose sand were placed to form 
an impenetrable defensive line of approaches. The work was 
chiefly done at night, it being impossible to accomplish much pro- 
gress by day, owing to the incessant fire of the rebel sharp-shooters. 
Night after night the work was persistently continued, under con- 
stant fire of shot and shell from the enemy's batteries, and from the 
sharp-shooters, who neglected no opportunity to pick off or wound 
any who exposed sufficient portion of their person for a target to an 
unerring aim. The casualties were frequently ten or fifteen per day 
in killed or wounded. The number daily detailed for defence was 
one thousand, and for 'vvork upon the approaches from four to six 
hundred, the latter being on duty for ten or twelve hours. During 
the entire period, all fatigue and defence details were exposed to 
the enemy's batteries from James Island, Forts Johnson, Gregg, 
Sumter, Wagner and, later, of Fort Moultrie and another battery 
on Sullivan's Island. 

At intervals, during the siege, the iron-clad fleet would approach 
Forts Wagner and Sumter and open fire. For hours, the air re- 
sounded with the roar of artillery and the crash of iron hail fall- 
ing upon the impenetrable walls of the floating iron-clad batteries. 
While this continued, the men could work by day in the trenches, 
as the rebels were kept in close quarters by the shot and shell. 

At night, the heavy siege guns and mortars were hauled into po- 
sition and mounted on the batteries as the work progressed, one 
hundred men being required to haul each gun and mortar, without 
its carriage (these being hauled separately), having large timber 
wheels or sling carts for the purpose. It was found impossible to 
manage teams of horses or mules so near the front, on account of 
the noise, within hearing of the enemy. It was, therefore, neces- 
sary to make details of men for the purpose. 

The duty in the trenches required the troops to be arduously en- 
gaged almost constantly during the siege, each regiment being 
detailed every alternate twenty-four hours. But the difficulties 



^^®3] MORRIS ISLAND. SIEGE OF CHARLESTON. 179 

attending the change of relief in the trenches, owing to the prox- 
imity to the rebel works, whose guns shelled the approaches con- 
tinually with grape and canister, at such times as it was thought 
likely th-ese changes would be made, detained the men at the 
front often thirty-two or thirty-four hours, leaving but fourteen or 
sixteen hours for rest in camp before being again detailed. 

It was quite unusual to get back to quarters before 11 P. M., 
supper having then to be prepared and eaten before getting to 
sleep, marching again at 5 P. M., the next day, to the front, to be 
ready for the chances of returning safely into the trenches. This 
service was very wearing upon the men. Many were taken sick 
and rendered unfit for duty in consequence, but they generally 
maintained a cheerful, uncomplaining and commendable readiness 
to meet these requirements. 

One of the chief difiiculties to be encountered was owing to the 
narrowness of the neck of land between our position and Fort 
Wagner whose front was more than ten times wider than the nar- 
rowest portion over which the approaches must be built. It oc- 
cupied the entire width of the island at the front where it stood, 
and was provided with a sluice gate entrance to the moat which 
retained the water admitted at the highest tide. Its garrison could 
receive supplies at all times without interruption, and reinforce- 
ments could be thrown into it from Charleston and from Gen. Lee's 
entire army at short notice. The siege operations could be embar- 
rassed, at all times, by a concentrated and cross fire, from six 
separate points, and a greatly superior force could at all times be 
thrown against any force that could be made available at the front, 
during the entire period of Gen. Gillmore's operations. One of the 
first measures of precaution against any sudden attempt of the enemy 
was the erection of a heavy line of inclined palisading across the 
island, about two hundred yards in advance of the line, with strong 
obstructions to render the position secure. A large bombproof 
magazine was constructed at a point within a short distance of the 
location of the first parallel, which was completed by July 23, 
within fourteen hundred yards of Fort Wagner. The second pa- 
rallel was opened on the night of the 23d, with an average advance 
of from six to eight hundred yards beyond the first. At this 
point, every resource of engineering science was taxed to its utmost, 
in perfecting works of great strength, provided with bomb and 
spHnter proofs as safe shelter for the men guarding the continued 



180 



HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH EEGIMENT. 



[July, 




BOMB AND SPLINTER PROOF. 



advance. This point of 
operations became the 
focus of a destructive, 
concentrated fire. Fort 
Sumter must now be re- 
duced or silenced, as its 
plunging shot into the 
works was continual 
and most disastrous. 
The engineers com- 
menced the erection of breeching batteries, to operate against Fort 
Sumter, on the night of July 25. The work was pushed forward 
with the utmost diligence day and night. Neither the heat of the 
tropical sun nor the shot and shell of a vigilant enemy were allowed 
to interfere with this work. The labor was terribly exhausting to 
the men, and the guard duty in the trenches was scarcely less oppres- 
sive. These batteries occupied a position in the first and second 
parallels. Those on the western side of the island were known in 
all the siege operations as the Left Batteries. 

The battery in the first parallel mounted two rifled two-hundred- 
pounder Parrotts and two eighty-four-pounder Whitworth guns, five 
eight-inch and five ten-inch siege mortars, and ten thirty-pounder 
Parrotts. These guns were all manned by a detachment of sailors 
from the fleet, under Com. Foxhall A. Parker, of the U. S. Navy. 
In addition to these was a regular battery manned by infantry. 
The distance of these guns from Fort Sumter was four thousand 
yards. 

In the batteries of the second parallel, named, respectively, 
Meade, Rosecrans and Brown, were mounted two two-hundred- 
pounder and five one-hundred-pounder Parrotts, at a distance of 
three thousand three hundred and thirty yards. The Left Batteries, 
forty-two hundred and forty yards from Fort Sumter, four in num- 
ber, named Hays, Reno, Stevens and Strong, mounted one three- 
hundred-pounder and four twenty-pounder Parrotts. In rear of the 
first parallel and near the Beacon House were the siege guns already 
mentioned in the first bombardment of Fort Wagner, which were 
also used against Fort Sumter. 

Perhaps the most noted battery erected by our forces, in the ope- 
rations upon Charleston, was the Swamp Angel, a description of 
which is given in a future paragraph. 




ARMY SIGNAL TELEGRAPH. 



1863 ] MORRIS ISLAND. SIEGE OF CHARLESTON. 181 

After the completion of these 
works, the engineers continued to 
advance the approaches toward Fort 
Wagner. A second and larger maga- 
zine was built at the second parallel, 
capable of storing an ample supply 
of powder for all the heavy guns. 
Adjoining it was a small bombproof, 
in whicli was placed an army tele- 
graph instrument for communication 
with the general head-quarters. It 
was also occupied as the head-quarters of the field officer of the 
trenches, during the active operations of the siege. A watch was 
kept stationed on the top of the supply magazine, to give warning 
when the enemy's guns opened fire, by calling out the name of the 
enemy's work from which the shell was coming: "Johnson, cover," 
"Sumter, cover," "Wagner, cover," indicating to the men at work 
in the trenches from whence the danger was coming, when, for an 
instant, all would lie close to the bank, which aff'orded the best 
shelter from the splinters which soon came down in a shower over 
their heads. By this means, many lives and limbs were retained 
for continued service. Dodging the shells soon became an art that 
lost but little time from the work. 

About July 20, Lieut. Col. Duer was ordered to St. Helena Is- 
land, S. C, to take charge of the convalescent camp established at 
that place, where he remained in command until near the end of 
September following. The command of the Regiment then de- 
volved upon Maj. Pennypacker, who entered upon the arduous ser- 
vice of the siege with his usual energy and unsparing devotion. 

On July 21, the 97th Eegiment was paid by Maj. J. O. Mason, 
paymaster U. S. V., for the months of May and June, 1863. 

On July 22, Capt. McConnell, of Company E, with the men in 
his charge, who had remained at Seabrook Island, arrived at Morris 
Island with the tents and baggage of the Regiment. 

At this time. Gen. Gillmore ordered a detail from each regiment of 
his army to proceed to the draft rendezvous of their respective States, 
to receive and conduct, to the department such recruits, drafted men 
and substitutes as might be required to fill their depleted ranks to 
the maximum number. The roster of the 97th Regiment showed 
at this time a deficiency of two hundred and ninety men. 



182 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEYENTH REGIMENT. f^^'y- 

For this service, Capts. D. W. C. Lewis, of Company F, and 
Caleb Hoopes, of Company G, with five men of the Regiment, were 
detailed with orders to proceed to the draft rendezvous, at Philadel- 
phia. They left Morris Island, July 23, on the steamer Arago, 
which stopped off the entrance of Charleston Harbor to receive the 
several details which were sent out to the steamer on one of the 
steam tugs. 

On the morning of July 24, there was an exchange of wounded 
prisoners at Charleston. The hospital steamer Cosmopolitan, in 
charge of Lieut. Col. James F. Hall, 1st N. Y. Engineers, provost 
marshal general of the department, having on board Surgeon John 
J. Craven, Act'g Med. Director Dep't, and thirty-nine wounded 
rebel prisoners, to be paroled for regular exchange, proceeded under 
a flag of truce to Charleston. They returned with one hundred and 
five wounded Union men, who were then sent to the United States 
hospital, at Hilton Head, S. C. The enemy refused to deliver any 
of the wounded colored soldiers. Information was obtained that 
one hundred and eight wounded still remained in their possession, 
unable to be moved, and that fifty-one had died since being 
captured. A large number of amputations had taken place, some 
of which, doubtless, might have been saved by the surgeons of our 
army. 

On July 26, the brigade was inspected by Capt. William Pratt, 
acting assistant adjutant general, of Gen. Stevenson's brigade. He 
praised the appearance of the men of the 97th P. V., and noted 
the excellent condition of the guns, accoutrements, etc. During the 
day, at the front, the enemy shelled the lines so continuously that 
no fatigue parties could work upon the approaches. 

On the 28th, the land batteries and the iron-clad fleet bombarded 
the enemy's works throughout the day. The fire was returned 
from Forts Sumter and Johnson, but Forts Wagner and Gregg were 
kept silent by the fire. 

On the 29th, the Eegiment received a supply of new A tents, 
which were greatly needed, the old ones having become torn and 
leaky from long use. 

About this time, the enemy opened a new battery on James Island, 
which partially enfiladed our works, causing considerable annoyance. 

In addition to the casualties reported during July, five men were 
discharged, on surgeon's certificate of disability, and one, Corp. 
Thomas Cummins, of Company E, died, of typhoid fever, July 29. 



^863] MORRIS ISLAND. SIEGE OF CHARLESTON. 183 

By the 1st of August, 1863, the forces on Morris Island had 
heen increased by the arrival of. one brigade of Brig. Gen. George 
H. Gordon's division of the 11th Corps, and on the 14th another 
brigade arrived, under the command of Brig. Gen. Alexander 
Schimmelfinnig, followed by other troops, until the reinforcements 
reached ten thousand men. Among them were the 74th P. V., 
organized by Gen. Schimmelfinnig, now commanded by Col. A. Von 
Hartung; the 174th P. V., Col. John Nyce, and the 176th P. V., 
Col. Amb. A. Lechler. The two latter were militia regiments, 
drafted for nine months' service. They remained on duty at Hilton 
Head and Beaufort, and soon after returned to Pennsylvania and 
were mustered out about the middle of August. A portion of 
these troops had served in North Carolina and the remainder were 
from the Army of the Potomac. The addition of this force greatly 
relieved the troops, heavily overtaxed by the severity of the siege 
duty. 

Col. Guss was again assigned, on August 1, to the command of 
the 1st brigade, 1st division, 10th Corps, relieving General Israel 
Vogdes, who held the command for a short time, after Gen. Strong 
was wounded, in the assault upon Fort Wagner, and was now 
ordered to relieve Col. W. W. H. Davis in the command of the 
troops on Folly Island. Col. Guss established his head-quarters on 
the beach, about a mile nearer the front than the camp, at the sand 
bluffs, occupied by Gen. Stevenson's brigade. The 97th P. V. 
was now transferred to the first brigade, to the great satisfaction ot 
the entire command, although the period of service in Gen. Steven- 
son's brigade had been rendered most pleasant by the kindness, 
courtesy and confidence of that accomplished oflicer. The 1st 
brigade was composed of the 97th P. V., 3d and 4th N. H., and 
the 9th Maine. The 3d United States colored troops. Col. Benja- 
min C. Tilghman, was afterwards added to the brigade. Col. Guss 
appointed upon his staff the following officers: 1st Lieut. Henry 
W. Carruthers, adjt. 97th P. V., A. A. A. General; 1st Lieut. 
George F. Towle, 4th N. H. acting assistant inspector general; 
1st Lieut. Roger W. Woodbury, 3d N. H., aid-de-camp; 1st Lieut. 
Frank J. Magee, 76th P. V., assistant quarter-master; Surgeon An- 
drew J. H. Buzzell, 3d N. H., brigade surgeon. These officers, with 
the exception of Lieuts. Towle and Woodbury, had served previously 
upon the staff of Col. Guss. 2d Lieut. George B. Dyer, 9th Maine, 
relieved Lieut. Magee in a short fime, the latter being ordered to re- 



184 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. [August, 

join his regiment at Hilton Head. Surgeon John R. Everhart, 97th 
P. v., relieved Surgeon Buzzell in September. The latter served 
subsequently as acting medical inspector of the 10th Corps, and 
died at Wilmington, N. C, March 28, 1865, of typhoid fever, while 
on duty attendant upon the exchange of prisoners. He was a most 
efficient officer, faithful and conscientious in the discharge of his 
duties, and beloved by all who had the opportunity to observe and 
appreciate his valuable services, both in the camp and the field. 

Lieut. James T. Skiles, Company B, was now detailed acting ad- 
jutant of the Regiment, and continued to perform that duty during 
the remainder of the operations on Morris Island. 

On the evening of August 3, a scouting party, under the com- 
mand of Capt. Lewis S. Paine, of the 100th N. Y., proceeded to 
explore the position of the enemy, advancing in two small boats, 
up Lighthouse Creek, Capt. Paine being in the advance boat and 
1st Sergt. and acting Lieut. Henry Odiorne, of Company D, of the 
97th P. v., with his brother, Corp. David Odiorne, and Privates 
Thomas Elliott, Joseph L. Eyre, William H. Griffith, Thomas Kel- 
ley, William McCarty, Joseph Russell and Isaac Sapp, of the same 
company, with the other, the object being also to picket the creek 
during the night. They had reached an old landing and were 
about going ashore, Capt. Paine and his men having already left 
their boat, when they were fired upon by a rebel force secreted 
behind the approach to the landing. At the first discharge, Sergt. 
Odiorne hastened toward the shore to assist Capt. Payne and party, 
but finding they were already captured, the picket boat pulled away 
from the shore again, when a volley of musketry was fired. 
Privates Joseph L. Eyre and Joseph Russell, of Company D, of the 
97th P. v., were instantly killed in the boat, one sitting on each 
side of Sergt. Odiorne. Private Sapp was also wounded in the 
knee. With great presence of mind, Sergt. Odiorne jumped from 
his boat and pushed it out into the stream, at the same time order- 
ing his remaining men to pull for their lives while he regained his 
position in the boat and thus escaped amid a shower of balls, 
bringing off their dead and wounded comrades. Capt. Payne and 
his force were all captured by the enemy. Company D was at this 
time on duty with other detachments, under command of Capt. 
Mendenhall, detailed as a guard to the engineer corps engaged in 
locating the famous battery, in the marshes of Lighthouse Creek, 
that became so widely known as the Swamp Angel, whose shell were 



1863.] MORRIS ISLAND. SIEGE OF CHARLESTON. 185 

the first to penetrate and fire the city of Charleston. This force 
was constantly on duty for eight days, chiefly engaged at night, 
patroling the numerous channels and bayous, to prevent the enemy 
from interfering with or gaining a knowledge of the work going on 
and to prevent their crossing to the left of Fort Wagner, from Fort 
Johnson on James Island, the channels being bridged by plank 
footways resting upon piles, aff'ording communication under cover of 
night. This duty was hazardous and exposing, as was shown by 
the result of the night attack upon Capt. Paine's party, before nar- 
rated. Other companies of the Eegiment also furnished details for 
the construction force engaged in preparing material for and in the 
erection of the Swamp Angel Battery, which was commenced about 
August 4 and completed by the 19th. This work was located at a 
point selected in the swamp, accessible only at high water, and 
situate at a distance of eighty-eight hundred yards from Charleston. 
Upon sounding the marsh, a pole could be run down in the mud 
sixteen feet before coming to bottom. The superintendence of this 
work was assigned to a lieutenant of engineers, of whom the camp 
stories reported that, upon being shown the place where the battery 
was to be erected, said "The thing was impossible." The com- 
manding officer, Col. Serrell, of the 1st N. Y. Engineers, replied: 
"There is no such word as impossible. The battery must be built 
at the point indicated." The doubting lieutenant was then told he 
had permission to make requisition for anything that might be re- 
quired for the work. He at once made requisition upon the de- 
partment quarter-master for one hundred men eighteen feet high to 
wade in mud sixteen feet deep. After making this requisition, he 
applied to the surgeon of his regiment to inquire whether he could 
splice the eighteen feet men if they were furnished him, for which 
piece of pleasantry the incredulous lieutenant found himself in 
arrest. He was, however, soon released and furnished with plans 
upon which men of ordinary stature soon commenced active opera- 
tions. 

A huge raft of logs was constructed of the proper dimensions, 
firmly lashed together, the logs in double layers crossed and inter- 
locked. This was floated at high tide, upon a favorable night, to 
the place selected, each corner was then made fast to a stake firmly 
fixed in the mud ; boats accompanied the raft, laden with thousands 
of gunny bags filled with sand; these were laid over the entire 
surface of the raft, the weight gradually sinking it upon the level 



186 



HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. 



[August, 




THE SWAMP ANGEL BATTBKY. 



mud bottom. Additional layers were added until the surface was 
raised above the reach of the highest tide ; then a double layer of 
heavy plank was laid down for a floor for the battery. Around the 
sides, walls of sand-bags were built up of twelve to fourteen feet 
in thickness and of sufficient height to aiford ample protection. 

By daylight the next 
morning the work was 
so far completed as to 
be ready for the large 
gun intended for it. 
Eising like a huge 
monster from the sur- 
face of the swamp, its 
frowning crest greeted 
the astonished gaze of 
the occupants of the 
rebel forts under whose 
guns it had silently grown up to its full clad completeness in a 
single night. Three brave men volunteered to remain in it the en- 
suing day, having sufficient provisions and being heavily armed 
with Spencer repeating rifles, to prevent the work being captured 
and occupied by the enemy. The construction party retired as 
usual at daylight from the creeks in its vicinity, leaving the three 
men alone upon their long and perilous vigil. The enemy soon 
opened fire upon it from Forts Johnson, Sumter and Moultrie, 
keeping up an incessant cross fire of several hours' duration, which, 
not being returned, finally ceased. The men were unhurt and the 
work received no material injury. 

The next night, the Swamp Angel, a two-hundred-pounder Par- 
rott gun, was successfully placed in position, and from that hour 
Charleston was at the mercy of its shot and shell. In consequence, 
however, of information received that the Union prisoners were 
placed by the rebel authorities in the places most exposed to its 
range, it was but little used during the siege and finally exploded at 
the thirty-sixth discharge. 

The third parallel was opened by means of the flying sap, at a 
distance of four hundred and fifty yards from Fort "Wagner, on the 
night of August 9. A large roller made of bundles of withes con- 
fined by iron bands was kept in advance of the men opening the 
sap. The work was thus rapidly carried forward. 



1863] MORRIS ISLAND. SIEGE OF CHARLESTON. 187 

At this time, Maj. G. Pennypacker was prostrated by illness, 
being attacked with intermittent fever, which kept him from active 
duty. The Regiment was now commanded by Capt. Isaiah Price, 
of Company C, the senior line officer. 

On the evening of August 11, the enemy opened on our lines 
with grape and canister shot, with the evident intention of prevent- 
ing any change of the forces in the trenches, but after a few hours 
they gave it up. The men then went quietly and safely to their 
places "at the front. A similar fire was opened on the next evening, 
with the same result. 

On the 13th, 1st Lieut. F. J. Eachus, of Company C, returned 
from duty in the commissary department, at Beaufort, and was 
placed in command of a detail of sharp-shooters from the 97th 
P. V. The selection of the best marksmen for each company com- 
posed the detail. They were stationed during the day near Fort 
Wagner, and remained on duty during the remainder of the siege. 
This service was both arduous and dangerous, and subjected the 
men to great exposure. 

On the 14th, five men of the Regiment were detailed to report to 
1st Lieut. John McGrath, of Company E, acting regimental quarter- 
master, under whose command they proceeded to Hilton Head, to 
bring forward the regimental baggage, stored at that place, under 
charge of Private E. Lane Scofield, of Company K. 

On the same date, while on fatigue duty at the front, the Regi- 
ment was shelled by the rebels from 1 A. M. until 3 A. M., pre- 
venting the men from work. At daylight, had a precarious time 
in getting safely to the rear, being exposed to the rebel fire. 

By August 17, all the heavy siege guns and the immense one- 
hundred and two-hundred-pounder batteries having all been suc- 
cessfully placed in position, it was determined to open a concen- 
trated fire upon Fort Sumter that morning. The enemy had shelled 
the lines during the entire night. At 1 A. M., they threw spherical 
case shot from Fort Wagner, no doubt anticipating a charge. The 
97th P. V. was at the front when the bombardment by the land 
and naval forces commenced at 4 A. M. The men had the satis- 
faction of seeing the first crash of the iron hail from the two- 
hundred-pound shot and shell upon the walls that, more than two 
years before, were the first to feel the dishonoring grasp of fratri- 
cidal rebellion's successful assault. With what mingled emotions 
of satisfaction and regret they saw the clouds of smoke, dust and 



188 HISTORY OF THE NINETT-SEVENTH REGIMENT. [August, 

rubbish flying before the storm of shot and shell, hurled from the 
guns of the land and naval forces, upon the devoted works. At 
length, the outraged honor of the flag and the national integrity 
were being vindicated upon the spot that v\'itnessed the unnatural 
crime of their desecration. Every missile from the immense guns 
seemed a righteous retribution, terribly grand in its crushing eff'ect. 
Loyal hearts now beheld the wielding of the nation's power typified 
as an efi"ective force, as the crumbling walls of this boasted im- 
pregnable fortress, gradually falling away, disclosed, at first; rough 
pits, jagged holes and defaced corners, and ere long the well- 
defined arches of the casemates, as the outer wall was penetrated. 
The firing was thereafter continued almost incessantly during each 
day. At night, the enemy filled in the breaches with sand-bags. 
Return firing was kept up from all the adjacent rebel works, and 
from Fort Sumter also. The casualties were, however, very slight, 
as the men were ordered to keep in the shelter of the bombproofs 
and trenches. 

During the afternoon of the 17th, a shell from Fort Sumter struck 
at the picket head-quarters, in the advance trenches, a splinter from 
which slightly wounded, in the head. Col. Joshua B. Howell, of the 
85th P. v., in command of the forces at the front. Two of his 
aids were also wounded and the telegraph instrument broken. The 
guard at head-quarters were from the 97th P. V., but none were 
injured. 

On the third day after the commencement of the bombardment, 
it was observed, by the aid of a field glass, from the top of a high 
sand hill, that upon the southern face of Fort Sumter ^I'e casemates 
were uncovered. The southeast face was also riddled with pits and 
holes, but from the angle of observation the casemates could not be 
distinguished. Several times the flagstaff" had been shot away. 
At length, a short pole was put up in one corner and the flag nailed 
to it. After the close of each day's firing, the mortar batteries 
threw shell occasionally, to keep working parties from repairing the 
breaches. 

The Swamp Angel Battery was ready to open fire upon Charles- 
ton. Gen. Gillmore determined to summon Gen. Beauregard to 
abandon Morris Island and Fort Sumter before commencing the 
bombardment of the city. At noon, on Sunday, August 22, Lieut. 
Col. James F. Hall, provost marshal general, proceeded toward the 
enemy's lines, with a flag of truce, to deliver Gen. Gillmore's sum- 



1883,] MORRIS ISLAND. SIEGE OF CHARLESTON. 189 

mons. He passed up the beach to a point near the fort, where he 
was met by a lieutenant of the enemy, who received the communi- 
cation. During the conference, which lasted only a short time, the 
men on both sides came out into view of each other upon the ex- 
posed sides of the respective lines, the men appearing like swarms of 
bees on the walls of Fort Wagner. The 97th P. V. was at this 
time at the front upon duty. The firing was immediately resumed 
after the return of the flag of truce. 

In the evening, a steamer appeared, coming out of Charleston 
Harbor with a flag of truce, and, upon continuing out beyond the 
lines, blank shot were fired across her bow to bring her to, but 
without eff'ect. A solid shot then stopped her further progress. 
The Ironsides and Monitor advanced from the fleet and a conference 
had, but nothing definite was ascertained, beyond the fact of the 
refusal to comply with Gen. Gillmore's demand. It was a cause of 
great indignation that the steamer should be allowed to get so far 
out, and to remain in a position from which every part of the land 
operations and the extent and position of the force could be ob- 
served. 

Gen. Gillmore waited twenty-six hours in order to give Beaure- 
gard opportunity to remove non-combatants from the city if such 
was his intention. He then gave directions for opening fire with 
the Swamp Angel, which threw its shell into the heart of the city, 
causing great consternation to its citizens and indignation on the 
part of Gen. Beauregard, who complained that no reasonable notice 
had been given of intention to open fire upon an inhabited city, 
and claimed that he was absent from the front when Gen. Gillmore's 
message was received. Gen. Gillmore maintained that due notice 
had been given and ample time aff'orded, and insisted that nothing 
had been done contrary to the laws and customs of war. 

A Charleston paper thus describes the effect of the shell: "Be- 
tween one and two o'clock, on Tuesday morning, the enemy com- 
menced firing on the city, arousing our people from their slumbers. 
Twelve eight-inch shell fell into the city, thirteen in all having 
been fired. Fortunately, no persons were injured. Several shell 
flew in the direction of St. Michael's steeple, and fell either in the 
vacant lots in the burnt district, on King Street, or more generally 
struck in the centre of the streets, as exhibited at the corner of 
Queen and Rutledge Streets, where an eight-inch shell tore up the 
plank road and dug a large hole in the ground. Another shot en- 



190 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. [August, 

tered a warehouse, at the corner of Hayne and Church Streets, 
entering the roof and exploded in the upper story, making a large 
opening in the back wall of the medical purveyor's storehouse, next 
door, and scattering things in great confusion. Some loose straw 
or packing was set on fire, which caused the alarm, bells to ring and 
brought out the firemen. (We could distinctly hear these bells on 
Morris Island.) Four shell fell in this locality. One large piece 
was picked up and exhibited at the guardhouse, where it was the 
subject of much curiosity." 

At 10 P. M., on the 17th, the enemy sallied out from Fort 
Wagner and charged upon the sappers and miners at work in their 
front. They, however, only succeeded in driving the pickets a few 
yards and did not interrupt the work, as the reserve forces soon 
after reoccupied the ground. About this time, the firing was very 
severe and many casualties occurred. 

The work upon the approaches had, in the meantime, progressed 
steadily. A heavy northeast storm, on the 18th and 19th, with an 
unusually high tide, filled the trenches and washed down the third 
parallel. This was soon restored and a fourth parallel opened, on 
the night of the 21st, three hundred yards from the fort. The 
work had now to be done entirely at night, owing to the vigi- 
lance of the sharp-shooters in the spurs and rifle pits outside the 
fort, who embraced every opportunity to pick off the men. 

On the night of the 21st, three men of the 97th P. V. were 
slightly wounded, by spent grape shot while on duty in the 
trenches; Privates Francis Hoffman, Company C, in the foot; 
Harmon B. Cloud, Company D, and Thomas Evans Brown, Com- 
pany F, both in the shoulder. During the week, the Regiment lost 
nine men killed and twenty-five wounded. Some others, slightly 
injured, were not reported. 

Corp. Wilbur Flannery, of Company D, who had been detailed 
as clerk at post head-quarters, at Hilton Head, since March 15, 
1863, now returned to the Eegiment for duty. He was detailed at 
head-quarters of Col. Guss' brigade upon his return to camp. 

On the night of the 24th, while the 97th P. V. was in the trenches 
at the front, supporting the batteries on the left, the pickets had a 
sharp skirmish with those of the enemy, in which the latter lost a 
number of men. None of our men were seriously wounded. The 
enemy seemed impressed, by the severity of the skirmish movements 
of the 97th P. V., that an assault was contemplated upon the fort- 



1863.] MORRIS ISLAND. SIEGE OF CHARLESTON. 191 

The batteries on James Island opened one of their hottest fires upon 
the flank, occasioning some casualties to our men. The firing, how- 
ever, gradually ceased. Private Riley Patterson, of Company D, 
received a concussion, from a cannon ball striking his musket in his 
hands, from which he died soon after. 

The night proved one of the stormiest ever experienced. The 
rain poured dov?n in torrents. The patience and endurance of the 
men was tried to the utmost, but no complaint was made by any. 

About one hundred yards in front of the fourth parallel a sand 
ridge crossed the island, behind which the enemy's sharp-shooters 
also found safe shelter, and prevented further extension of the sap 
by the engineers and miners. To secure and hold the ridge became 
the next step. An assault was determined upon, for the night of 
the 26th, when the 24th Mass., under Col. Francis A. Osborn 
made a successful charge upon the position, with the bayonet, 
killing and wounding about a dozen of the enemy and capturino- 
the entire force, numbering two lieutenants and seventy-one men, all 
of the 61st N. C The movement was supported by the 97th P. 
v., which moved up and occupied the line from which the 24th 
Mass. advanced. At the first alarm, the enemy's guns opened a 
brisk fire, which killed 1st Lieut. James A. Perkins, of the 24th 
Mass., and two men of Company I, and wounded eight others of 
that regiment. Shovels were placed in the hands of the prisoners, 
who were compelled to dig to protect themselves from the fire of 
their own men. Upon gaining this important point, work was at 
once commenced upon the fifth parallel within two hundred yards 
of Fort Wagner, under direction of Capt. Joseph Walker, of the 
1st N. Y. Engineers, who, as soon as the work upon the fifth 
parallel ' was fairly under way, started a flying sap toward Fort 
Wagner, and advanced it nearly seventy-five yards before daylight, 
under a hot fire of musketry and artillery. During the progress of 
this work, the sappers found several torpedoes which the enemy 
had planted in front of Fort Wagner. One of them becoming de- 
tached, fell into the sap, and exploded within a few feet of Capt. 
Walker, burying him in the sand to the waist. He was stunned 
by the concussion for a few minutes, but was not otherwise injured. 
Ten of these infernal machines were discovered. One or two ex- 
ploded without doing any injury. They were in shape double 
cones, joined at the base, formed of sheet iron and containing forty 
or fifty pounds of powder, designed to explode by pressure upon a 



192 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH KEGIMENT. [August, 

plunger with percussion cap, so adjusted as to be sprung by a step 
upon a small board or other hard substance, at the surface of the 
ground, in contact with the plunger. Mortars from the rear bat- 
teries were now moved forward to the fifth parallel and placed in 
position. Beyond this point, the approaches were simply zigzag, 
making very sharp angles, the ground being insufficient for opening 
other parallels. The island, at this point, being only twenty-five 
yards wide, at high water mark, and only two feet above it, the 
high tides swept across in rough weather to the marsh beyond. 

From the time that the large two-hundred-pounder siege guns had 
been placed in position, the firing upon Fort Sumter had been 
constantly maintained from sunrise until sunset each day, while the 
work upon the approaches to Fort Wagner also progressed steadily. 
The effect of the heavy shot and shell upon the walls of Fort Sum- 
ter, as already stated, began to be apparent after the first few days ; 
gradually the arches of the casemates became visible as the outer 
wall crumbled away before the accurate range of the heavy guns. 
The breaches were, however, filled at night with sand-bags by the 
enemy. * 

The eff'ect of the firing was watched with great interest by the 
officers and men upon guard duty in the trenches on Morris Island. 
By the aid of field glasses, the shot could be followed from the gun 
on its way until it was lost in the cloud of dust caused by its crash- 
ing against the sides of the fort. Several of the heavy siege guns 
burst with terrible effect during the siege. Many were killed and 
wounded and many narrow escapes occurred. Upon one occasion 
the 97th P. V. occupied the line of keeps, in rear of the two hun- 
dred-pounder batteries, ready for defence of the guns and the advance 
working parties against assault from the fort. The keeps, being 
arranged in successive parallels, within a few yards of each other, 
afforded shelter for two companies each. About noon, the gun on 
the left fiank of the battery exploded, killing one and wounding 
several of the men who were working it. The immense breech of 
the gun was hurled backward, just grazing over the crests of the 
keeps, crushing in the fourth and falling close to the fifth keep. 
Capt. Price, commanding Eegiment, had left the fourth keep a few 
minutes before it was crushed in at the spot occupied as the regi- 
mental head-quarters. It so happened that the men were a few feet 
apart, but did not entirely escape the crash, which destroyed several 
muskets. A number of men were buried with debris of the keep. 



1863.] 



MORRIS ISLAND. SIEGE OF CHARLESTON. 



193 



They soon scrambled out, happy to get off so well. Capt. Price had 
gone to the head-quarters of the field officer of the trenches, Col. 
Louis Bell, and was standing with that officer upon the lookout, 
within a few yards of the battery, observing the effect of the firing. 
Both were struck by the grains of unexploded powder thrown off 
from the gun by the explosive force, causing a severely stinging sensa- 
tion. They hastened to the spot to ascertain the injury to the men, 
and to render assistance to the wounded. The gun carriage and for- 
ward part of the gun remained in position ; the huge breech had 




FOKT SUMTEU AFTEB THE BOMBAEDMENT. 



taken a backward career, as described, while around the gun car- 
riage lay three wounded men, who were receiving the prompt atten- 
tion of their comrades who escaped unhurt. 

Upon another occasion, the Kegiment being on duty at the front, 
near the guns of the third parallel battery, an officer and several 
of the men had taken position on the right flank of the guns to 
watch the effect of the firing. Being called to supper, the summons 
was immediately obeyed. Within ten minutes, a fearful explosion 
was heard and clouds of dense smoke told of another gun giving 
way under the strain of incessant firing. The ofiicer returned to 
the spot he had just left to find the whole traverse of the work, 
upon which he and his men were lying a few minutes before, cut 
away by the immense fragment of the gun that had been thrown 
off and was lying just beyond deeply buried in the sand. Two 
men were lying beside the gun carriage fearfully mangled; one was 
dead and the other could not live beyond a few hours. Poor 
13 



194 HISTORY OF THE KINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. [August, 

fellows ! only a few moments before, their voices had answered to 
the call of duty as they passed the charge into the deep-mouthed 
guns. Both were silent now forever. 

These incidents were of frequent occurrence, yet the men never 
flinched from duty or failed to stand by their guns, regardless of 
all consequence or danger. 

Upon one occasion several solid shot passed through the walls of 
the parallels. One of these struck the bombproof in which the men 
of Company A were sheltered. The rifles of Sergt. William L. Morris 
and Private B. Frank King were struck by a splinter and the stocks 
shattered. The waist-belt plate was torn from Sergt. Jervis J. Ru- 
dolph's body without injuring him. Upon another occasion, four 
solid shot passed through a sand-wall shelter, entering close to men 
of Companies A, C, D and F, without doing any injury. About 
the same time, a shell cut its way through at a point occupied by 

Company D. Capt. Price, in command 
of the Regiment, was sitting against the 
bank, about four feet from one of the 
men. The shell passed between them, 
burying both and several others under 
the sand-bags, and then dropped about 
A RESPECTFUL SHELL. tweuty fcot iu tho Toar and was respect- 
ful enough not to explode or those near 
it would have fared much worse, no doubt. 

One night, after the usual force had been posted, an additional 
detail reported to Col. Guss, commanding brigade, for assignment 
to duty. The line was to be advanced. His staff officers not having 
returned from posting other details, Col. Guss went to the front 
with this himself The night was very dark. The force had not 
advanced very far before the enemy's pickets opened on them, 
killing and wounding several of the men before they could find 
cover. One was killed behind the colonel and others were wounded 
on each side of him. He had a very narrow escape. 

On August 25, the 85th P. V. relieved the 97th P. V. at the front. 
During the next day, the enemy fired less than usual, but toward 
evening a most extraordinary result was occasioned by one of their 
mortar shells, fired from James Island, which fell and exploded in 
one of the parallels where nine soldiers of the 85th P. V. had col- 
lected and were sitting in a close group. Seven were kiUed in- 
stantly; the two others so badly wounded that they died in a short 




1863.] MORRIS ISLAND. SIEGE OF CHARLESTON. 19& 

time. Parts of their bodies, clothing, equipments and broken guns 
were scattered in all directions. Another account of this affair 
stated that the shell struck the head from a man lying asleep in 
the trench, entered the ground without exploding, and that the 
others ran up to their comrade, thinking he had been killed by 
a solid shot ; almost immediately the shell exploded with the above 
result. 

On August 31, Lieut. Col. Henry A. Purviance, 85th P. V., Avas 
killed in the trenches, before Fort Wagner, by the premature ex- 
plosion of a shell fired from one of our own batteries. This loss 
was greatly deplored, as he was a most excellent officer and greatly 
beloved by all who knew him. The 97th P. V. was at the front in 
the trenches at the time, supporting the battery. The lines were so 
near to each other that hand grenades were thrown by the enemy 
into the trenches to drive us from them. Many were killed and 
wounded from time to time, but each man remained at his post of 
duty unflinchingly. 

While the Regiment was at Morris Island, the Central Aid So- 
ciety, of West Chester, contributed largely io the needs of the nu- 
merous sick, for which it received the thanks of all, coming at a time 
when especially needed. The sick list was largely on the increase, 
owing to the excessive heat and the arduous nature of the almost 
constant service in the trenches. The best sanitary observances to 
promote the h(^alth of the men, thorough discipline, cleanliness, etc., 
were strictly enforced. Yet only those who have realized what it is 
to be kept closely confined, day and night, in a narrow, wet ditch, 
with the mercury ranging from one hundred to one hundred and 
twenty-five degrees, constantly subject to heavy fire from the enemy, 
while toiling with shovels for hours together, can fully appreciate 
the reason why men could not remain strong and loell and always 
fit for duty. 

About the end of August, Lieut. Col. Augustus C. Hamlin, U. S. 
A., medical inspector of the department, made a tour of the camps 
upon Morris Island, making a careful inspection. His report stated 
that " Unless Fort Wagner should soon fall, the troops would not 
be in a condition to longer prosecute the siege, and that a third as- 
sault would be more economical of life than the continuance of ope- 
rations for any length of time with present losses." 

During the siege on Morris Island, a general court-martial was 
convened by Special Order "No. 15, from Gen. Terry's head-quarters, 



196 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. [August, 

for the trial of such urgent cases as might be brought before it. Of 
this court, Brig. Gen. T. G. Stevenson was President. 

Capt. I. Price, of the 97th P. V., was detailed as a member. 
The officers detailed were notified that they were excused from 
attendance at the court, when their regiments should be on duty at 
the front. The court continued its sessions each day with such 
officers as were not on duty at the trenches. 

During August, three men of the regiment were discharged on 
surgeon's certificate of disability, four men died of disease, and two 
were killed. The weather was excessively hot in the daytime, 
while at night a cool breeze generally set in from the sea. A large 
number of men were sick in the different commands. 

Of the discharged men. Privates William S. Renshaw, of Com- 
pany B, and Edward E. Showalter, of Company C, being excessively 
prostrated, by chronic diarrhoea, and helpless, two men of the Regi- 
ment were detailed to accompany them to the transports, and, being 
furnished with passes for the purpose, were directed to remain with 
them as long as possible, in order to see them safely reshipped and 
started north. The commander of the Regiment also personally 
assisted in getting them started in the ambulances, to see that they 
had every advantage of favorable influences and to encourage them 
to keep up their spirits with the hope of a speedy return to home 
and friends. But, alas! these influences were destined to follow 
them but a little way. The men appointed to accompany them 
were not allowed to remain upon the hospital boat, and were rudely 
thrust from it while endeavoring to secure the comfort of their 
comrades. These had to take their chances with the hundreds 
crowded upon the steamer. There being an entirely inadequate 
number of attendants, those most debilitated, of course, suffered 
most. Of their sufferings and privations there has come no voice 
to tell. They were never heard of alive again nor has there a trace 
of them or their effects, papers, etc., been recovered. They rest in 
the silence of unknown graves and their mourning friends are de- 
nied the sad consolation of knowing the places of their burial. It 
was reported that they both died at Beaufort, and were there buried, 
but no authenticated confirmation of the report could be obtained. 
Every effort has been made, both by their families and by the offi- 
cers of the Regiment, to obtain some accurate information con- 
cerning them, but without success. An indefinite report, by a 
member of the Regiment, to the effect that Showalter's grave was 



1863.] MORRIS ISLAND. SIEGE OF CHARLESTON. 197 

seen at Beaufort, S. C, with the date of death, September 9, 1863, 
is the only information that gives any clue to the sad certainty that 
they died without a friend near to minister to their comfort, or to 
receive and convey the last message of love to their dear ones. 
Nor is the fear that they were robbed of their valuables and papers 
altogether unfounded, when it is known that nothing was ever 
forwarded to their Regiment or friends, the address of both of which 
were obtainable from the discharge and other papers upon their 
persons. 

The Regiment being at the front, on duty in the trenches, on 
September 1, Privates Joseph Ray and Thomas Mcintosh, of Com- 
pany G, were wounded slightly, both in the head; the latter in 
the forehead. 

On September 2, the 97th P. V. moved its camp to join the other 
regiments of Col. Guss' brigade, near the signal station. On the 
evening of the 2d, the Regiment went to the front and occupied the 
fourth parallel. Companies A and F being advanced to the fifth 
parallel, the extreme front. The rebels threw grape and canister 
from Fort Wagner, and shell from the James Island batteries, and 
cohorn mortar shells from the lines near Fort Wagner, the near ap- 
proach of the last sap lines causing them to feel that their works 
were in imminent danger. 

Private George W. Cook, of Company F, was killed early on the 
morning of the 3d, by a shell from Fort Wagner. Several others 
were slightly wounded, and Private Harman B. Cloud, of Company 
D, in the shoulder, severely. On the night of the 5th, the Regi- 
ment was again on duty in the fifth parallel, returning in the morn- 
ing to the shelter of the bombproofs, near the two-hundred-pounder 
batteries. The approaches had by this time reached so near Fort 
Wagner that the sand of the last embankment, for the seventh 
parallel, as the men threw it up, slid into the moat that bordered 
the fort. 

During this tour of duty, on the 5th, Corp. John O'Brien, of 
Company E, received a shell wound in left hip, and Private Patrick 
Grant, of Company E, was also slightly wounded in the leg. 

On the evening of September 6, the brigade was inspected by 
Capt. Richard H. Jackson, 1st U. S. Art'y, Insp. Gen. of Dep't, 
and reviewed on the beach by Col. Guss and staff. The 97th P. V. 
occupied the right of the line. 

Lieut. Lemaistre, of Company H, who had received a sick leave 



198 HISTORT OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. [September, 

of absence, about the middle of July, rejoined the Regiment on the 
6th, fully restored to health and resumed command of his company. 
The land and naval batteries had kept up a constant fire upon 
Fort Wagner, during September 5 and 6. The heavy siege guns 
on Morris Island also directed a constant fire upon the walls of' Fort 
Sumter each day since they were mounted, the heavy masses of 
metal thrown against it by the siege guns and the fleet, operating 
steadily and surely to the ultimate destruction of the solid masonry. 
The enemy, however, continued to build up the breaches during 
the night with sand-bags. Having completed his approaches to 
Fort Wagner, Gen. Gillmore, on the evening of September 6, as- 
sembled, at Gen. Terry's head-quarters, the brigade and regimental 
commanders, in order to give personal instructions to each officer, 
explain the position his command would occupy in the assault, to 
be made the next morning, and the duty expected of each: 

I. The troops were to march to the trenches at 1 A. M. and to 
occupy the immediate front, closing well up in the trenches, so as 
to have the whole force as near as possible to the fort. 

II. Gen. Stevenson's brigade was to be ready to advance by the 
beach, to the right, at the signal, having axemen prepared to cut 
away the palisades, then to gain the rear of the fort and, from the 
crest of that side, aid in keeping the rebels in their bombproof 
shelter, to which the naval and land batteries, by a continued fire 
up to the moment of the assault, should drive them. 

III. To Col. Guss' brigade, the 1st, was assigned the assault 
upon the main front of Fort Wagner. The 97th P. V. to lead the 
advance, to gain the crest of the fort, over the bombproof, and from 
that position to open fire upon the entrances to the bombproof 
shelter to keep the enemy from getting out. 

IV. Col. W. W. H. Davis' brigade was to advance upon the left, 
to turn the flank of the works on the side toward .James Island. 

V. The fire of the gunboats and batteries was to open at daylight 
and continue without cessation until 9 A. M., when it was to cease 
the instant a red signal flag should be run up on the earthworks at 
the front, an instantaneous advance of the entire force to be made, 
in accordance with these orders, so as to secure a footing upon the 
crest of the fort before any large number of the enemy could get 
out from the shelter. 

At the hour appointed, the troops had marched to the front and 
were quietly closing up in the trenches. The newly risen moon 



1863.] 



MORRIS ISLAND. SIEGE OF CHARLESTON. 



199 




FORT WAGNBR, SKA FRONT. 



cast just enough light to 
make the scene impressive 
as the silently moving 
masses of troops filed into 
their places. A report was 
soon passed from the right 
that the rebels had evac- 
uated the fort Two men 

now volunteered to reconnoitre. They crossed the moat in safety, 
mounted the crest and found the place deserted. Gen. Terry then 
ordered an immediate advance upon Fort Gregg, in the order pre- 
viously indicated for Fort Wagner. The Regiment^' marched in 
column by division: Gen, Stevenson's brigade on the right. Col. 
Guss' in the centre and Col. Davis' on the left, with a line of 
skirmishers in the advance. The distance to Fort Gregg, three- 
quarters of a mile, was soon passed, each moment expecting to meet 
the crash of iron hail from the enemy, behind the lines of his last 
defence on the island, but the advance was unchecked. The 
skirmishers scaled the earthworks and the leading regiments planted 
their colors on the walls of Fort Gregg. A few straggling prisoners 
were captured and a boat with fifty or sixty rebels was intercepted 
by a force sent through Lighthouse Creek to be in readiness for any 
attempt to escape after the assault. A few horses of little value 
had also been left behind. 

Before daylight, the troops were ordered to retire to the camp, 
leaving a sufiicient force to garrison Forts Wagner and Gregg. The 
engineers set immediately to work to reverse the fronts of those 
works, fatigue parties being detailed to complete the work without 
delay. 

The condition of the bombproofs, in and around the forts, were 
wretchedly filthy and noisome in the extreme. Unburied and half- 
buried soldiers were lying in, and in rear of Fort Wagner, it being 
evident that the fire of the bombardment had been effective also in 
preventing the men leaving their shelter, for any purpose, while it 
lasted. The accumulation of filth rendering the place most offen- 
sive, the shelters had to undergo a thorough cleansing before the 
men would remain in them, preferring to risk the shot and shell 
of the enemy rather than endure their filth. 

There were quite a number of Belgian rifles left in Fort Wagner. 
One lar^e siege gun was dismounted; several smaller ones, a few 



200 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. [September, 

howitzers and cohom mortars were uninjured, No ammunition, 
and but a small amount of stores of any kind were found. 

The ground, in front of the approaches to the works, was thickly 
planted with torpedoes, from which several casualties occurred before 
the men could be prevented from passing over them. A guard 
was set to keep the men from that part of the ground, and de- 
tails set to work to take them up. It was found that the outer 
edge of the moat, at Fort Wagner, was hedged by a row of 
lances and spears, with long hickory handles, set firmly in the bank 
close together, forming chevaux-de-frise of hooks and blades of 
steel. The material, light and strong, in the darkness was hardly 
perceptible, but impossible to pass without being impaled upon the 
points, if the men had jumped down the sides of the moat, the 
bottom of which was also covered with planks, into which long 
sharp spikes had been driven, leaving the points standing up two or 
three inches, to pierce the feet of the men attempting to cross the 
ditch. These were the most devilish contrivances ever set around 
a fort as a military defence. 

The rebels opened fire upon Forts Wagner and Gregg as soon as it 
was light enough for them to see that our troops were in possession, 
and maintained the fire during the day from Forts Johnson, Sumter 
and Moultrie. 

On the evening of September 10, the 97th P. V. was detailed to 
occupy the lines at Forts Wagner and Gregg, Capt. I. Price being 
designated as field officer of the trenches, having been placed on 
the roster of officers in command of regiments, from which these 
details were made, in consequence of the limited number of general 
officers present, requiring the officers in actual command of regi- 
ments to perform the duties of a brigade commander. The follow- 
ing communication, from the acting assistant adjutant general 
making the detail, may serve to show the exigencies of the service 
at that time : 

Head-Quarters, 1st Brigade, Morris Island, Sept. 10, 1863. 
Captain: 

Pursuant to instructions from post head-quarters, I have the 
honor to announce you as Field Officer of the Trenches for to-night. 
Your details come from the 97th P. V., 9th Maine, 3d N. H. and 
4th N. H., in all eight hundred men. You are compelled to go on, 
for the reason that there is no field officer for duty in this brigade. 



1863.] MORRIS ISLAND. SIEGE OF CHARLESTON. 201 

except Maj. Pennypacker, who is certainly not fit (on account of 
illness). I know you have been worked hard, but you are a staunch 
old "TFar Horse" and '■'■ Everybody knows it." 

You can have my horse, provided you don't permit the rebels to 
kill him. 

Very hastily, your obedient servant, 

H. W. Carruthers, a. A. A. General. 

While posting the forces, at Fort Wagner, at dusk, a boat was 
observed in the channel, near the western end of the fort. Capt. 
Price directed Sergt. Beaver, of his company, whom he had just 
placed in charge of the guard stationed there, to hail the boat and 
ascertain its purpose. Some one in it answered, giving the counter- 
sign in a loud call that might be heard a considerable distance on 
the side occupied by the enemy. The boat was peremptorily ordered 
ashore. Capt. Price having -to continue with the forces being posted 
along the line, directed the sergeant to enforce the order, if neces- 
sary, by firing across the bow of the boat if there was any attempt 
to disregard the order; to fire into it if it should attempt to 
escape; to arrest the person giving the countersign improperly, 
and to hold him until his return, permitting the boat to pro- 
ceed in charge of the remaining persons with it, if their purpose 
should be found to be duly authorized. Before proceeding further, 
Capt. Price availed himself of the opportunity to telegraph to Gen. 
Terry, from Fort Wagner, stating what had occurred, supposing it 
quite possible that the person whose arrest he had ordered might 
outrank him and prove a formidable prisoner on his hands. Upon 
returning to Fort Wagner, two hours later, he was somewhat re- 
lieved and gratified in finding the following telegram from Gen. 
Terry : 

Head-Quarters, Sept. 10, 1863. 
Capt. Price: 

Your prompt and decided action has my full approbation. You 
will keep the officer mentioned under arrest until morning, and then 
send him here. 

By signal telegraph, Gen. Terry. 

The prisoner under guard was ascertained to be a sergeant of 
the 10th Conn , in charge of a picket boat, who had, without re- 



202 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. [September, 

flection, improperly used the countersign, as the answer, when 
hailed, instead of more quietly giving his name, rank and object, 
or, as is usual, coming ashore at the challenge of the guard. He 
was considerably alarmed at finding himself in custody, and was 
painfully conscious of the error he had thoughtlessly made, and 
anxious as to the consequences. Feeling sorry that an apparently 
good soldier should be dealt with summarily for his thoughtless 
offence, Capt. Price, when sending him to Gen. Terry's head- 
quarters, sent a note to that officer, giving a more full explanation 
of the circumstances, as favorably stated as possible, and asking 
that he be dealt with as leniently as the case would permit. Also, 
when reporting to Gen. Terry, the next day, when being relieved 
from duty, he again made the same request. The sergeant, after an 
admonition to be more careful in the future, was, in a short time, 
released from custody, and returned to duty more fully impressed 
with the gravity of his incautiousness than he would have been by 
any more harsh or severe punishment. 

Companies A, F, D, I, H and G, of the 97th P. V., occupied 
Fort Gregg, under command of Capt. F. M. Guss. Companies B, 
C, E and K held Fort "Wagner and the line of pickets between 
the forts, under command of Capt. McConnell, of Company E. 

The rebels shelled the position during the evening most vigor- 
ously. Soon after the guards were posted in Fort Wagner, Private 
David H. Gunkle, of Company C, was mortally wounded by a shell 
from Fort Johnson, a fragment crushing the left shoulder and enter- 
ing the left groin, fracturing the thigh, being in a sitting posture 
when struck. He died soon after reaching the hospital, at about 
12 o'clock, midnight. Private Jacob B. Talbot, of Company A, 
was also wounded, on the same evening, at Fort Gregg, by a frag- 
ment of a shell, in the fleshy part of the left hip. He was sent to 
the regimental hospital. He recovered and returned to his com- 
pany in about two months. The Regiment was relieved from duty 
at the front at 7.30 P. M., on the Uth, and returned to camp for 
a short period of rest. 

On September 12, the Regiment was inspected, on the beach, by 
Capt. George F. Towle, 4th N. H. Vols., brigade inspector, on the 
staff of Col. Guss. * 

On the same date, orders were issued, from department head- 
quarters, for two per cent, of the troops to have furloughs granted 
for thirty days, the men selected to be those recommended on ac- 



1863. J MORRIS ISLAND. SIEGE OF CHARLESTON. 203 

count of distinguished and meritorious services during the siege and 
who had been present in action with their commands. In many 
instances, it was a difficult matter to determine the most deserving 
where all had served so faithfully. The selections, however, gene- 
rally met the approval of the enlisted men of the Regiment. It is 
regretted that no list of the names of the men who received these 
furloughs has been preserved. 

Sergt. Richard B. Moore, of Company C, was at this time de- 
tailed to act as commissary sergeant of the Regiment during the 
absence of Com. Sergt. Thomas McKay, who had received a fur- 
lough for thirty days. 

During the remainder, of September, the Regiment was continu- 
ally upon duty at the front, under fire, either upon picket or fatigue 
work upon the new batteries. The weather was mostly quite 
stormy and disagreeable, on account of the cold eastern wind. The 
equinoctial gales prostrated the tents, rendering the camp dilapi- 
dated and comfortless; the efforts of the men to restore them to 
order were often frustrated by the loose sand affording insufficient 
hold for the tent pins with such a gale tugging at the cords. The 
sand was drifted about like ridges of snow. 

Brig. Gen. T. G. Stevenson, in whose brigade the 97th P. V. 
served during a portion of this campaign, being prostrated by chills 
and fever, about September 14, received a leave of absence for a 
short time. He subsequently returned to the department and con- 
tinued upon duty until the beginning of 1864, when he was ordered 
to the Army of the Potomac and assigned to the command of a di- 
vision in Gen. Burnside's corps, with which he served with distin- 
guished gallantry in several important actions and was killed, in 
action, at Spottsylvania Court House, Va., on May 10, 1864. Gen. 
Stevenson was the first colonel of the 24th Mass., having recruited 
and organized that regiment in September, 1861, and was pro- 
moted to brigadier general, U. S. Vols, March 14, 1863. He was 
a man of great earnestness of character and action, of fine culture 
and generous nature, an accomplished officer, devoted to the service 
of his country, which, by his death, lost one of its most efficient de- 
fenders. 

Soon after the occupation of Forts Wagner and Gregg, Gen. 
Gillmore issued the following complimentary order to his troops en- 
gaged in the arduous duties that secured this unparalleled advance 
in siege operations : 



204 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH EEGIMENT. [September, 

Department of the South, Head-quaeters in the Field, 
Morris Island, S. C, September 15, 1863. 

General Orders : 

It is with no ordinary feeling of gratification and pride that the Brigadier, 
General Commanding is enabled to congratulate this Army^upon the signal 
success which has crowned the enterprise in which it has been engaged. Fort 
Sumter is destroyed. The scene where our country's flag suiTered its first dis- 
honor you have made the theatre of one of its proudest triumphs. 

The fort has been in the possession of the enemy for more than two years, 
has been his pride and boast, has been strengthened by every appliance known 
to military science, and has defied the assaults of the most powerful and gallant 
fleet the world ever saw. But it bas yielded to your courage and patient labor. 
Its walls are now crumbled to ruins, its formidable batteries are silenced, and, 
though a hostile flag still floats over it, the fort is a harmless and helpless 
wreck.* 

Forts Wagner and Gregg — works rendered memorable by their protracted 
resistance and the sacrifice of life they have cost — have also been wrested from 
the enemy by your persevering courage and skill, and the graves of your fallen 
comrades rescued from desecration and contumely. 

You now hold in undisputed possession the whole of Morris Island, and the 
city and harbor of Charleston lie at the mercy of your artillery from the very 
spot where the first shot was fired at your country's flag, and the rebellion itself 
was inaugurated. 

To you — -the ofBcers and soldiers of this command — and to the gallant Navy 
which has co-operated with you, are due the thanks of your Commander and 
your Country. You were called upon to encounter untold privations and 
dangers; to undergo unremitting and exhausting labors; to sustain severe and 
disheartening reverses. How nobly your patriotism and zeal have responded to 
the call the results of the campaign will show, and your commanding general 
gratefully bears witness. Q. A. Gillmore, 

Ofiicial: Brig. Gen. Commanding. 

Ed. W. Smith, Asst. Adjt. Gen. 

On the 17th, the Regiment reoccupied Forts Wagner and Gregg 
and the adjacent shore lines of picket, and were detailed again for 
the same service on the 19th. The enemy kept up a steady fire 
upon Fort Wagner, during each tour of duty. 



* Fort Sumter was abandoned by the enemy on the night of February 17, 
1865, and occupied by the Union forces on February 18. The national flag was 
again unfurled from its flagstaff at 9 A. M., on that day, by Maj. I. A. Hennes- 
sey, by order of the commandant of Morris Island, and, on April 14, 1865, the 
old flag, which Maj. Anderson had borne away when he surrendered the fort to 
the enemy, was again flung to the breeze by the gallant Gen. Anderson, in the 
presence of a large number of official personages, army officers and citizens, 
The view of the interior of the fort, given on the opposite page, indicates its ap- 
pearance at the restoration of the flag by Maj. Gen. Anderson, in 1 865. 



1863.] 



MORRIS ISLAND. SIEGE OF CHAELESTOK. 



205 



About September 23, Maj. Pennypacker, having for several weeks 
been entirely unfit for duty, on account of illness, received a leave 
of absence for tvpenty days, it being his first absence from the Eegi- 
ment since entering the service. Lieut. S. V. Black, of Company 
K, also received a leave of absence, on account of sickness, and ac- 
companied Maj. Pennypacker to Pennsylvania. Lieut. Col. Duer 
received a sick leave of absence soon after and returned home from 
St. Helena, and rejoined the Regiment after an absence of twenty- 
eight days. 

On September 24, there was a grand review of all the troops, on 
Morris Island, by Maj. Gen. Q. A. Gillmore, who had just received 
promotion for his successful operations on Morris Island, in honor 
of which a salute of thirteen guns Avas fired by the land batteries. 
Twenty-two regiments passed in review, beside the artillery regi- 
ments and batteries. The 97th P. V., now commanded by Capt. 
Price, being the first regiment in the 1st brigade, 1st division, 10th 
corps, took position, at 8 A. M., on the right of the line, upon 
the beach, opposite the camp of the Regiment. 

Attended by his brilliant staff, Gen. Gillmore appeared after the 
salute had been fired and rode down the line, the bands playing, 




INTERIOR OP FORT SOMTBR. 



drums rolling and colors dipping, the entire line presenting arms. 
The troops were in . splendid condition, which the general did not 
fail to observe, as he closely inspected the ranks. The artillery 
attracted especial attention. After the return by the rear rank, the 
general proceeded to a position opposite the centre, when Gen. 
Terry, placing himself at head of the division, gave the command 
to form column by companies. The troops then passed in review 
before the commanding general, preceded by the bands of the dif- 



206 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH KEGIMENT. [September, 

ferent brigades. The marching was excellent. The war-worn 
veterans moved in even front and steady lines, in accurate step, 
under the eye of their general, who failed not to bestow his ad- 
miration upon their proficiency in the march, as well as the valor 
he had already proved during the long, arduous and successful 
siege. 

In the afternoon, the Regiment was detailed for fatigue duty at 
Fort Gregg. Rebels shelled the men incessantly, both in Forts 
Wagner and Gregg. One shell struck a gun carriage in Fort 
Wagner and wounded four men. Four men were killed, in Fort 
Gregg, during the previous night, by a shell from Fort Moultrie. 
The Regiment returned to camp at 5 P. M. 

On the night of September 24, apprehending an attack from the 
enemy, in boats from Charleston, the troops in camp were called up 
at 2 A. M. and required to stand at arms until daylight. 

On September 25, the Regiment again occupied Forts Wagner 
and Gregg, and the shore lines during the night, the main portion 
of the detail returning in the morning to the keep, near the siege 
guns, for shelter, on account of the severe shelling from the rebel 
works. 

The Regiment was paid, on the 26th, by Maj. Wm. M. Babbitt, 
Paymaster U. S. A., to include the months of July and August, 
1863. 

The Regiment was relieved from duty in the trenches, at dusk 
on the 26th, and again went to the front on the 28th, remaining 
on duty till the evening of September 29, which was the last time 
it occupied the trenches on Morris Island. 

During the siege, from July 17 to October 1, 1863, the 97th P. 
V. occupied the trenches at the front, and performed other duty on 
the following dates: in action at Fort Wagner, a iiight assault, 
July 18; on duty in the trenches, July 19, 24, 25, 27, 28, August 
2, 3, 5, 6, 10, 11, 16, 17, 21, 22, 24, 25, 26, 27, 29, 30, September 
2, 3, 4, 5; September 7, in the advance upon and occupation of 
Forts Wagner and Gregg; occupied those forts and other advance 
post on September 10, 11, 16, 17, 19, 20, 22, 23, 25, 26, 28, 29; 
detailed for fatigue duty, July 20 (night), 21 (night), 23 (day), 26 
(night), 29 (night), August 7 (day), 8 (night), 12 (night), 13 (night), 
16 (day), 17 (night) by all the men not on duty at the front, 19 
(day), 23 (day), September 1 (night), 5, forty men, (night), 13 (day), 
14 (day), 18 (night), 21 (night), 24 (day), 27 (day); making a 



1863.] MORRIS ISLAND. SIEGE OF CHARLESTON. 207 

record of almost continuous service, constantly under fire from the 
enemy's guns, both at the front and in camp, where shot and shell 
frequently reached, falling in close proximity to the lines of tents. 
During August, the Regiment was oif duty but five days, and during 
September but two days, an experience unprecedented outside the 
forces on duty at the siege of Morris Island. 

There being but little wood on Morris Island, great difficulty was 
experienced in obtaining sufficient to cook rations for the troops. 
Wood squads from the companies were compelled to carry all the 
wood used from one to two miles, there being no teams on the Island 
that could be spared from the siege operations for the purpose. 

When the men occupied the trenches at the front, the company 
cooks at each meal carried the kettles of coff^ee and soup nearly 
two miles. Notwithstanding the exposure being much greater than 
in the trenches, they never wavered in fidelity to their hungry com- 
rades. The cooks' brigade was eagerly watched as it came and went 
upon its perilous errands, the target of rebel shot and shell, and 
toward the end of the siege of sharp-shooters also. But they seemed 
to possess charmed lives; few if any casualties occurred with their 
many narrow escapes. The cooks of Morris Island were far from 
being reckoned among the cowards by their comrades in the trenches. 

Owing to the ready observance of orders on the part of the men 
of the Regiment, and to the attention of the officers, in keeping the 
men from unnecessarily exposing themselves to the view of the 
enemy while in the trenches, the casualties in the Regiment, during 
the siege, were less frequent than in most other regiments occupy- 
ing the same ground, though the shelling from the enemy's line was 
as constant. 

The 97th P. V. had frequently occupied the line during a tour of 
duty without any casualty, while the regiment relieved had lost ten 
to fifteen in killed and wounded, the number of shell thrown 
being the same by actual count. The diiference in result was 
attributable entirely to the fact that the line of earthworks was 
not indicated to the enemy by our men furnishing targets for the 
range of their guns. 

Owing to the excessive heat, the arduous and exposing duty 
during the siege, and the low, damp ground through which the 
trenches were dug, being sometimes filled to a depth of eighteen 
inches of water, at high tide, many of the men were prostrated by 
sickness, chiefly cases of intermittent fever, chills and diarrhoea. 



208 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. [SeptemTjer, 

Three enlisted men were discharged during the month, for 
physical disability, viz.: Sergt. Patrick Carter, of Company E, on 
the 13th; Privates Benjamin Hughes, of Company D, and Henry 
Carney, of Company I, both on the 27th, The following men died 
during the month on Morris Island, viz.: Privates Samuel Hunter, 
of Company H, on the 4th, of chronic diarrhcea; William C. Shan- 
non, of Company F, on the 7th, of typhoid fever; Hugh D. Mews, 
of Company B, on the 11th, of typhoid pneumonia; Charles K. 
Wentz, of Company C, on the 18th; Aaron Phipps, of Company 
K, on the 26 th; both of chronic diarrhoea, and Ovell Chappell, of 
Company E, on the 29th, of chronic dysentery. They were all 
buried on Morris Island, near the ruins of the lighthouse, destroyed 
by the enemy, their graves being marked with the name, company 
and regiment. The remains of Phipps were subsequently removed 
by his friends to West Chester and reinterred in the Methodist 
Cemetery. 



1863.] 



RETURN TO FERNANDINA. 



209 



CHAPTER VII. 

Fernandina and Fort Clinch; Capture of Camp Cooper, Fla.; 
Expedition to Woodstock and King's Ferrt Mills, Ga. ; Re- 
enlistment OF Veterans; Their Return on Furlough; De- 
parture FROM Fernandina; October 1, 1863, to April 25, 1864. 




HE protracted and arduous service of the unprece- 
dented siege on Morris Island, during July, August 
and September, 1863, had so prostrated the men as 
to render rest and change absolutely essential to 
restore the Regiment to its usual efficiency. Orders 
were issued, about October 1, directing the 97th 
P. V. to proceed tor Fernandina, Fla., to occupy 
that city and garrison Fort Clinch. Col. Guss was 
relieved of the command of his brigade and as- 
signed to the command of the post of Fernandina. Adjt. H. W. 
Carruthers, A. A. A. General, 1st brigade; 1st Lieut. David Jones, 
quarter-master 97th P. V., post quarter-master at Hilton Head; 
Ass't Surgeon G. W. Miller, on duty in general hospital, at Hilton 
Head, and such other officers and men of the 97th P. V. as had 
been detailed on detached service in the department, were relieved, 
by special order, on September 30, and directed to rejoin their 
Regiment. * 

The camp, on Morris Island, was broken up on the morning of 
October 2. The tents and baggage of the Regiment were conveyed 
to the beach, at Lighthouse Inlet, to which point the men had 
marched. At noon, the right wing of the Regiment embarked on 
the AHce Price and the left on the Emilie, two small steam trans- 
ports. The sea being quite rough, the vessels lay at anchor until 
next morning. At 11 o'clock, they set out for Port Royal. Having 
a smooth sea, reached the harbor at 8.30 P. M., and anchored off 
Hilton Head. The next morning, the Regiment was transferred to 
the steamer Boston, commanded by our good friend, Capt. J. P. 
14 



210 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. [October, 

Johnson, unto whose care all were glad to be consigned again. At 
Hilton Head, Mr. John F. Forrest, sutler of the 97th P. V., rejoined 
the Regiment after an absence of nearly three months, having ar- 
rived a few days previously with a schooner load of supplies long 
needed by the men. 

Capt. George R. Guss, the colonel's eldest son, also met the Regi- 
ment at Hilton Head, arriving with Mr. Forrest, on a visit to his 
father. He proceeded first to Morris Island to examine the siege 
operations there, and subsequently went to Fernandina and re- 
mained during the winter. 

The Boston sailed for Fernandina, at 3.30 P. M., on the 4th, 
having a supply schooner in tow. Some of the sick were left in the 
hospital, at Hilton Head, being too much prostrated to bear the 
transportation on shipboard. The steamer arrived off the bar, op- 
posite Fort Clinch, at 7 A. M., on the 5th, and, entering Amelia 
River, came to anchor opposite the town, at 10 A. M., soon after 
which the Regiment disembarked at the wharf, where the men re- 
mained until the several post details were arranged. 

Col. Guss announced his arrival to Col. H. M. Plaisted, 11th 
Maine, commandant of the post, and presented the order directing 
him to relieve Col. Plaisted and his regiment from duty at that 
post. 

The following paragraph, in reference to the arrival of the 97th 
P. v., at Fernandina, appeared in the editorial column of the 
Peninsular, published weekly at that place, by William C. Morrill, 
Esq., who was also post master at Fernandina: 

" Our New Defenders. The QYth PenDsylvania, Col. Henry R. Guss, com- 
manding, are veterans in the service of their country and are already in the third 
year of the period of their enlistment. They have made a record of which they 
have reason to be proud. They have been in this department nearly two years, 
and for the last three months have been stationed at Morris Island, where the 
arduous duties they have had to perform have materially lessened the health 
and efficiency of the men, and they have, in consequence, been ordered here lo 
recruit. It is a sufficient testimony to the courage and ability of the commandiDg 
officer, that he was, by order of Gen. Gillmore, placed in charge of a brigade 
while there and participated in the stirring scenes which have recently been en- 
acted there ; and the Regiment could have had no higher compliment paid it than 
in the fact that it was selected, by Gen. Terry, to lead the "forlorn hope" on the 
night of the final assault, on Fort Wagner, when it was found that the enemy 
had incontinently decamped. We extend a hearty welcome to Col. Guss and bis 
brave officers and men, and hope that their stay may not only be profitable to 
them, but pleasant and agreeable to all parties." 



1863.] FEENANDINA. ITS ASPECT AND INHABITANTS. 211 

Col. Plaisted's command had been on duty, at Femandina, about 
four months. A detachment of colored troops was at the post, en- 
gaged in recruiting the 1st Fla., under the direction of Lieut. Col. 
Milton S. Littlefield. The officer in command of the detachment 
was Capt. Mahlon E. Davis, of Company A, 1st Fla. His company 
was encamped near Fort Plaisted, at the southwest border of the 
town. This force was not engaged in any duty connected with the 
post. 

Since Fernandina was first occupied by the Regiment, in March, 

1862, there had many changes taken place. Some, who had left 
it when evacuated by the enemy, had since returned. A number 
of citizens from the north and many white refugees and contra- 
bands had arrived. Most of the handsome residences, with finely 
cultivated grounds, were now despoiled of their beauty by the de- 
solating hand of war laying waste the work of years. Soldiers 
had occupied the spacious parlors and chambers where the chivalry 
were wont to revel and repose. Ragged negro children climbed 
the banisters of the wide stairways and crowded the piazzas of the 
palatial structures, erected for the luxurious abode of governors and 
senators, who fled from their splendid homes at the approach of 
the defenders of the government they, also, had solemnly sworn to 
support. Instead of welcoming these as their friends and pro- 
tectors, they had become fugitives, self-deprived of country and 
home. The contrabands were in charge of a government agent, H. 
H. Helper, Esq., a former resident of North Carolina, a most active 
and energetic man, to whose faithful administration and care of 
their interests the colored population was indebted for very much 
that tended to secure for them the occupation of houses and culti- 
vation of the lands, which enabled them to subsist and, in some 
instances, to accumulate quite considerable gains. In all questions, 
involving these varied and conflicting interests, he was advocate for 
both plaintiff" and defendant, and judge to determine and enforce 
the right, which he did with a justice and directness that secured 
for him the confidence of the entire population. 

The head-quarters of the post, occupied by Col. Plaisted, was the 
house of ex-Senator Yulee, where Col. Guss also established his 
head-quarters. 

Upon taking command of the post of Fernandina, October 5, 

1863, Col. Guss announced the following appointments: provost 
marshal, Capt. Isaiah Price, of Company C; post adjutant and 



212 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. [October, 

acting assistant inspector general, 1st Lieut. Henry W. Carruthers, 
adjutant 97th P. V.; post surgeon, Maj. John R. Everhart, surgeon 
97th P. v.; post quarter-master, 1st Lieut. David Jones, quarter- 
master 97th P. v.; post commissary, 1st Lieut. John McGrath, 
of Company E; post ordnance officer, 1st Lieut. Gasway O. Yarnall, 
of Company G; post treasurer and in charge of post bakery, 1st 
Lieut. James T. Skiles, of Company B. These officers nearly all 
continued in the discharge of the duties assigned them during the 
period the Regiment remained at the post. 

Company C was assigned to duty as provost guard. Capt. Price, 
with his company, upon landing, proceeded to the provost guard 
quarters, a large new dwelling in the southwestern part of the city, 
where he relieved Capt. Sabine, of the 11th Maine, provost marshal. 
The company stacked arms in front of the building, upon a vacant 
lot, and the men were allowed to rest under the shade in the vi- 
cinity, subject to orders of the lieutenants in charge of the company 
until the quarters occupied by the 11th Maine were ready for them. 

Capt. Price received, of the former provost marshal, all the books 
and papers pertaining to the office, together with such property as 
was in his charge, and about thirty prisoners, under sentence of 
court-martial, who had been consigned to the custody of that officer, 
duplicate receipts being given in each case. 

Companies A and G were detailed to garrison Fort Clinch, under 
command of Capt. Francis M. Guss, of Company A, relieving two 
companies of the 11th Maine. The officers and part of the men 
occupied quarters in the casemates of the fort, the remainder having 
tents. A regular detail of sentinels guarded the fort, two or three 
posts were required on the beach, and a watch kept at the Light- 
house, at some distance. The duty was mainly that of a garrison 
to the fort. A mounted courier was on duty as messenger between 
the fort and post head-quarters. 

Company H, commanded by 2d Lieut. George A. Lemaistre, was 
stationed at Old Town, between New Fernandina and Fort CHnch. 
The company occupied tents on the banks of the river, near the 
houses. This company maintained a guard at the causeway leading 
to the fort and a picket at a point on the river to prevent boats 
passing up and down The charge of maintaining order in the Old 
Town was also a part of the duty. 

Company E, Capt. William McConnell in command, was sta- 
tioned, as an outpost picket, at the railroad bridge across an inlet 



1863.] FERNANDINA. DETAILS FOR POST DUTY. 213 

from Amelia River, on the Fernandina and Pilatka Railroad, two 
and a half miles from Fernandina. 

The remaining companies of the Regiment were encamped on 
the ground occupied by Col. Plaisted's regiment, near the rebel re- 
doubt on the river, and adjacent to the late Gov. Broom's house, 
the officers having quarters in an adjoining house. The men occu- 
pied their tents. 

On October 6, Mr. Forrest's schooner arrived with sutler's stores, 
which were landed and transferred to a storehouse near the officers' 
quarters, where Mr. Forrest was soon established in a thriving trade 
to his own profit and the men's delight. His schooner had served 
also as his storehouse in the early part of the campaign of 1863, 
but he mostly had a large tent at the camp of the Regiment. 

The five companies of the Regiment at Fernandina were engaged 
in the usual camp duties and furnished the post guard ; also a picket 
guard, that was established on the roads and approaches to the 
town from inland, these being relieved every twenty-four hours ; two 
posts were also stationed several miles down the island, one at 
an old sugar house plantation and one still farther, at Harrison's 
Landing, on the inside shore of the island; these posts being relieved 
at intervals of one week, having also a mounted courier at each 
post to carry intelligence of any movement if necessary. Provision 
and forage were sent to them as required. 

A mounted patrol of six men was also detailed for service, under 
the provost marshal, two being on duty at a time, day and night, 
relieved every four hours. They were charged with the duty of 
arresting all stragglers from camp and of surpervising the order of 
the town, seeing that all persons at the post were duly authorized 
as resident or having the proper passes, at night requiring the 
lights in houses and quarters to be extinguished at taps and the 
men to be in camp, demanding the countersign of all found in the 
streets after 9 P. M. The patrol was at all times available to arrest 
and prevent disorder of every kind and promoted greatly the quiet 
and security of the post. The men selected for this duty were of 
the most energetic and reliable in the Regiment. They received 
the entire approbation of the provost marshal for their faithful 
services. The original detail consisted of Corps. John T. Boofter, 
Company B; John W. Brooks, Company D; Privates Robert L. 
Black and William H. Clark, Company A ; Davis McAfee, Com- 
pany F, and James Peoples, Company I. Clark, of Company A, 



214 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. [October, 

was relieved, in January, by Private Jacob C. Strode, of same com- 
pany, on account of disability from a rupture. Corp. Brooks and 
Privates Black, McAfee and Peoples re-enlisted, with the veterans, 
in March, and received furloughs to return home. Privates George 
W. Hawkins, Chanlee Kirk and William H. H. Startz, of Company 

A, and Private Joseph Wetherill, of Company C, were detailed to 
fill the vacancies in the patrol. 

Private John W. Ford, of Company A, was detailed as a mounted 
courier for duty at post head-quarters. Corp. Harry S. Pyott, of 
Company A, was placed in charge of the contrabands at the post, 
and Sergt. Lee A. Stroud, of Company F, was detailed as wharf 
master, Sergt. William L. Morris, of Company A, was detailed as 
ordnance sergeant, at Fort Clinch, to assist Lieut. Yarnall, post 
ordnance officer. 

Sergt. R. Powell Fithian, of Company K, was also detailed as post 
printer, and subsequently Private Young, of Company D. They 
were attached to the office of the Peninsular during most of the 
time the Regiment remained at the post. 

Several men were detailed at the post bakery, with Corp. Chan- 
ning Brinton placed in charge of the clerical duties of that institution ; 
Corp. Wilbur F. Flannery, Company D, as clerk at post head- 
quarters ; Corp. C. Burleigh Hambleton Company C as chief clerk 
to provost marshal ; Private Jeremiah King, Company A, as clerk 
to post quarter-master; Privates Robert W. Humphreys, Company 

B, and John L. Kitts, Company C, as clerks in post commissary de- 
partment. 

The post hospital was a fine large building situated on Main Street, 
between the head-quarters and the camp of the Regiment. The ac- 
commodations were most ample, rooms large and airy, the ventila- 
tion of the wards and the police arrangements very good. The sup- 
ply of stores, bedding, medicines, etc., adequate to every want of 
the sick, and even that novel accommodation, a milch-cow, was 
here for the first time supplied. 

The provost guard established a regular camp guard around the lot 
enclosing the quarters and the barracks in which the prisoners in 
charge of the provost marshal were confined. A guard was also pro- 
vided to have charge of the prisoners while at work at the wharf or 
other places where their services were required. Additional prison- 
ers were received by the provost marshal from time to time from the 
forces in the department, in conformity with the sentences of courts- 



1863] FERNANDINA. POST DUTIES AND INCIDENTS. 215 

martial. During his term of service at the post, the number was 
increased from thirty to one hundred and thirty. The terms of sen- 
tence designated "Fort Clinch, Florida, at hard labor;" but owing 
to the difficulty attending the control of a few prisoners at work 
with a large number of civilians, who were employed at the fort, 
the previous provost marshal had been employing the prisoners at 
such labor as was needed in the quarter-master's department, at the 
wharf in the town, and in cutting wood for the post bakery, etc. 
This arrangement was at first continued by Capt. Price. They 
were also employed in cutting logs for piles to rebuild the wharf and 
in driving the piles for the same. They also aided in the removal 
of the old, jail, a log structure, quite a distance, to the provost head- 
quarters, to be used as a lockup when required. 

Subsequently, the prisoners were removed to the barracks, near 
Fort Clinch, to be employed upon the work at the fort, in con- 
formity with the terms of sentence, being in charge of a guard and 
under command of a sergeant of the provost guard company, whose 
detail served continuously for a week at a time, divided into three 
daily reliefs. 

Among other duties of the provost marshal was that of exa- 
mining all vessels, other than naval, entering and departing from 
the harbor, to prevent illegal traffic and the sale of liquors to the 
troops, having a sailing and rowboat, with a crew detailed for the 
purpose of boarding these vessels in the harbor. Upon one oc- 
casion, a barque came to anchor near Fort Clinch. The day being 
stormy and the harbor quite rough, it was difficult to reach the 
barque ; the tide, also, running out very swiftly. On approaching 
the vessel, it was found the boat's painter was entangled under 
the end of the stepboard, forced loose by the strain on the mast. 
Calling for a rope to be thrown over the side, to make fast the boat, 
it was not understood. The boat then swept past, there being 
nothing to catch hold of to stay it in the rapid current. It was 
then necessary to go about, in order to return to the vessel, a feat 
very difficult and dangerous in waves so high and wild. By great 
exertion, the boat was kept from being swamped in turning, having 
shipped a heavy wave which nearly filled it. Arriving again at the 
side of the vessel, a rope was made fast to the boat. The provost mar- 
shal and one man had just ascended the sling ladder, when, owing 
to slack rope, the prow of the boat getting a Kttle out from the side' 
of the vessel, the swift current overturned it in an instant. Sergt. 



216 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. [October, 

Moore and Private Latch, of Company C, being still in the boat, 
the latter caught the sling ladder as the boat went under; but 
Sergt. Moore, less fortunate, was swept down with the boat. He 
managed to catch hold of the rope, by which the boat was still 
securely fastened, but his position was one of great peril. With 
great presence of mind, he held on until a rope was thrown over to 
him, which he made fast around his body and was hauled aboard at 
the stern of the vessel. Mr. Frisbee, the pilot, then took his boat 
and secured the mast and sail of the boat which were floating sea- 
ward. 

On the evening of October 22, a reunion of the officers of the 
army and navy, at the post, occurred on board the gunboat Flam- 
beau, which was the occasion of inaugurating the most kindly 
feeling between the two branches of the service. The officers of the 
navy being the hosts, spared no pains to make it a success. The 
table was loaded with the choicest luxuries to be found. The 
largest drumfish ever caught in those waters honored the guests 
with his presence, being nearly four feet in length and in due pro- 
portion, proving deUcious as a brook trout. 

The deck was adorned with bunting draped from the spars over- 
head, while the merry sailors, with song and viol, alternated music 
with jest, and witty repartee in genuine cordiality filled the hours 
with pleasure, until the small figures warned the guests to bid adieu 
to their hosts, impressed with the feeling that the memories of that 
evening would ever remain a pleasant retrospect to brighten some 
of the sterner experiences of the soldier's and the sailor's life. 
Long life and happiness to our friends, the "gallant Flambeau 
tars." 

During the stay at the post, some of the officers obtained leave 
to visit St. Augustine, that beautiful and strange old Spanish town, 
whose early history, with its thrilling legends, have thrown a veil 
of mysterious interest around its old fortress, with its subterranean 
vaults, its ruined arches and crumbling walls. The description of 
these might form a romance in itself. 

On October 24th, the first mail was received at Fernandina, and 
the men who had received furloughs, on Morris Island, rejoined the 
Regiment, arriving in the mail steamer. Com. Sergt, McKay re- 
sumed his duties; Sergt. Moore, of Company C, was relieved from 
duty, as acting commissary sergeant, and returned to duty with his 
company. Lieut. Col. Duer also returned to the Regiment, from 



^8631 FERNANDINA. DEATHS AND DISCHARGES. 217 

sick leave of absence, his health not much improved. He occupied 
quarters in Gov. Broom's house. 

Privates James F. Maloney, Company I, and Jacob Kerr, Com- 
pany F, were discharged^ for disability, on the 12th. The latter 
died, on the 27th, at Hilton Head, of chronic diarrhoea; Private 
Jonathan Todd, Company I, was transferred to the Veteran Reserve 
Corps, on October 31. 

During the month of October, the following men of the Eegiment 
died: Private Joseph E. Booth, of Company D, died, of chronic 
diarrhoea, at the hospital of the 3d N. H., on Morris Island, October 
3; Corp. David S. Christman, of Company K, of pneumonia, at the 
general hospital, on the 7th; Private James Kenan, of Company B, 
on the 8th; Private Milton Greenfield, of Company F, on the 11th; 
Corp. John Doyle, of Company G, on the 26th, and Sergt. David 
H. Birney, of Company B, on the 30th; the four latter of chronic 
diarrhoea, at the general hospital; Privates Isaac H. Pugh, of Com- 
pany G, on the 25th, and Jacob Macintosh, of Company C, on the 
28th, both died at Beaufort, of the same disease. The following 
died at the post hospital, at Fernandina: Private George G. Hardy, 
of Company B, on the 13th, of chronic diarrhoea; Private John G. 
Hughes, Company H, on the 15th, of scurvy; Private Jesse Wood- 
ward, Company F, on the 26th, of consumption; Private Charles 
J. Kinsey, Company C, on the 28th, of chronic diarrhoea; Private 
Patrick Murphy, Company E, on the 28th, of consumption. 

Sergt. Reese L. Weaver, Company G, died, on the 12th, of 
chronic diarrhoea, in the U. S. hospital, in New York ; Private John 
Ward, Company I, on the 28th, of chronic diarrhoea, at Fort Schuy- 
ler hospital. New York Harbor. These were all most excellent 
men and faithful soldiers. Company A was the only one not in- 
cluded in this list. Those who died at Fernandina were buried in 
the general burying ground adjoining Old Town. 

At a meeting of the members of the I. O. of O. F., belonging to 
the 97th P. V., held at the provost marshal's head-quarters, on the 
evening after the death of Private Jesse Woodward, resolutions of 
respect to his memory and his faithfulness as a soldier, also of con- 
dolence to his family, were adopted and forwarded to West Chester, 
properly attested. He was a member of Pocohontas Lodge, No. 
316, of West Chester, Pa., and was a conscientious, faithful soldier, 
generous in feeling, though quiet and unobtrusive. He possessed 
the esteem and confidence of both officers and men. 



218 HISTORY OF THE NINETT-SETENTH REGIMENT. [November, 

The following statement gives the changes which occurred in the 
Regiment during its second year of service: on October 29, 1862, 
the total officers and men was eight hundred and thirty-nine; sub- 
sequently, nine recruits had joined, making a total number of eight 
hundred and forty-eight ; during the year one officer was transferred 
to the U. S. Signal Corps; eleven officers resigned, or were dis- 
charged on surgeon's certificate, and sixty-four men were discharged 
on same account; one officer and forty-six men died, four of whom 
were killed ; five men were transferred to the Veteran Reserve Corps 
and two men to the U. S. Signal Corps; twelve men re-enlisted in 
Company E, 3d U. S. Artillery; making a total loss in the regiment 
of one hundred and forty-two during the year, leaving the aggregate, 
October 29, 1863, at seven hundred and six, officers and men, the 
loss being thirty less than that of the first year of service. 

On October 31, the Regiment was mustered for pay and inspected 
by Col. Guss and staff, who visited the different detachments for 
the purpose. 

On November 5, the steamer Rebecca Clyde arrived at Fernan- 
dina, having on board two hundred and eighteen substitutes and 
conscripts for the 97th P. V., in charge of Capt. D. W. C. Lewis, 
Company F. The men were mostly in a very insubordinate condi- 
tion, having been furnished with whisky, by the crew, during the 
voyage. Many of them, having their bounty money in their posses- 
sion at starting, had been robbed by gangs of desperate associates, 
who, in turn, were continually stealing the proceeds from each 
other. The officers in charge and the captain of the steamer had 
only succeeded in preventing them from taking control of the ship 
by threats of turning the steam upon them in their quarters below. 
A detail of two companies, from the Regiment, was stationed as a 
double line of guards from the wharf to a church, around which a 
guard was also placed. Between these lines the men were con- 
ducted. Several of the most drunken and disorderly made violent 
demonstrations, bidding defiance to all in their reach and fighting 
among themselves, yet avoiding contact with the lines of bayonets 
in the hands of the guard. When they had all been driven into 
the church, the provost marshal and his guard entered and secured 
the ringleaders of the desperadoes, who, by this time, found it was 
useless to resist. Col. Guss then addressed the men— said he hoped 
they would conform to order and proper discipline. If they did they 
would have no trouble in the future; if they did not they would be 



1863.] FERNANDINA. CONSCRIPTS AND SUBSTITUTES. 219 

punished. He told them he would receive and treat them as he 
would like to be treated himself and hoped they would prove to be 
good soldiers. The remainder now seemed quite willing to obey and 
respect the authority of the officers. Many of them said they felt as 
if their lives were now, for the first time since leaving the north, 
rendered secure. These men were then marched to the camp of the 
Eegiment, where, under the superintendence of Col. H. E. Guss, 
they were examined and identified with the descriptive rolls fur- 
nished, and assigned to the difi"erent companies. 

On November 14, seventy more conscripts and substitutes arrived 
in the steamer Beaufort, in charge of Capt. Caleb Hoopes, Company 
G. Many of these were also drunk and disorderly, having had 
whisky freely furnished them by the crew. The same measures 
were adopted to reduce them to order and respect of authority as 
before. 

The total number assigned to the different companies was as 
follows: Company A, seven; Company B, thirty-one; Company C, 
thirty-four; Company D, twenty-five; Company E, twenty-seven; 
Company F, twenty-one; Company G, twenty-eight; Company H, 
thirty-six; Company I, thirty-eight ; Company K, forty-one. Total, 
two hundred and eighty-eight men. 

Many of these men became good and reliable soldiers, but the 
greater portion were a constant cause of trouble to the entire com- 
mand, requiring the utmost vigilance of the officers to prevent in- 
subordination, and entailing increased duty upon the old and faithful 
men of the Regiment to keep the disorderly new ones in subjection 
to orders. 

Among other property turned over to the provost marshal, by the 
retiring officer, was the stock and fixtures of a dry goods and gro- 
cery store of a citizen convicted of selling liquor at the post, in vio- 
lation of orders. An order was subsequently received from the pro- 
vost marshal general of the department, Lieut. Col. James F. Hall, 
1st N. Y. Eng's, directing the sale of the goods and a return made to 
him of the proceeds. This order was carried out, on November 10, 
by a public auction of the goods after due public notice. The provost 
marshal remembered that a son of one of Chester County's most 
noted auctioneers was a member of Company B, 97th P. V. He 
therefore summoned Sergt. W. A. Nichols to his head-quarters, and 
telling him he wanted an auctioneer, and knew of nothing nearer in 
that line than the son of an auctioneer, proposed then and there that 



220 HISTORT OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. [November, 

he should begin to follow in the footsteps of his illustrious ances- 
tor. Nothing daunted, the sergeant expressed his willingness to go 
into business in that line. His success was most gratifying, exceed- 
ing the expectation of all concerned — prices ranged high, and the 
sergeant displayed wit, readiness and tact that made the occasion 
one of the liveliest and most interesting that occurred during the 
stay at Fernandina. Sergt. Nichols, having graduated as an auc- 
tioneer, in Florida, with such distinguished honors, has continued 
to ply his vocation since his return home, it is hoped, with the 
success he then gave such good promise of deserving. 

On November 12, Maj. Pennypacker and Lieut. Black, of Com- 
pany K, returned to the Regiment, having had their leave extended 
to fifty days. Both were much improved in health and were gladly 
welcomed by the Regiment. The major occupied quarters, in Gov. 
Broom's house, with Lieut. Col. Duer. Capt. George Guss also ar- 
rived from Morris Island. Col. Guss' daughter. Miss Lizzie Guss, 
and his cousin, Mrs. Mary Ann Warner, accompanied Maj. Penny- 
packer from West Chester. Capt. Henry W. King (harbor mas- 
ter at Hilton Head) and his wife also came down to visit the colo- 
nel for a short time, accompanied by Mrs. Capt. Bryant. They 
remained a couple' of weeks. Miss Guss and Mrs. Warner con- 
tinued with the colonel during the winter. The presence of these 
ladies was a most agreeable accession to the social circle, and ren- 
dered the colonel's home a very attractive household, quite in con- 
trast with the long and lonely campaign he had experienced without 
the presence of his family circle. -Other visitors during the winter 
enlarged the interest for those who had long been deprived of the 
benefit of ladies' society, and the presence of quite a number of the 
ladies of ofiicers and others, spending the winter south, became a 
most entertaining and permanent feature in the winter's expe- 
riences. Among these were the family of Gov. Reed, Mrs. H. H. 
Helper, Mrs. Capt. Alfred F. Sears and two of her young friends 
(the Misses Talcott, from New York), Mrs. Dr. Winslow and sister, 
Mrs. Capt. Davis, Misses Merrick, Botts, Slocum (sister of Gen. 
Slocum, of New York), and other lady teachers, engaged in edu- 
cating the contrabands, and some others whose names cannot now 
be recalled. 

Frequent excursions were made on horseback upon the beach and 
down the island, and boating upon the bay and up the Cumberland 
Sound. Hunting wild cattle, upon the island, also aff'orded an 



1863.] 



FEKNANDINA. INLAND EXCURSIONS. 



221 



occasional day's sport, for the purpose of obtaining fresh beef 
Upon one occasion, when the ladies were of the party, a fine deer 
was started up and an animated chase ensued. Shots were fired 
from all quarters and the party dashed, at full speed, in pursuit, 
closing in upon the fugitive. The ladies rode gallantly over the 
underbrush and across the cotton ridges, to be in at the death, one 
being the second to arrive at the spot where the game fell. The 
venison steak proved even more delicious than the roast beef that 
formed the larger bulk of the day's prizes. 

Some of these inland ex- 
cursions led into the intri- 
cate jungles and swamps, ■^^^^SHBHMMftjgft'lMiy jMSj^ [ 
inaccessible, except by fol- ^"-s^B^^^i^B^i""* i2ii' Hiuwi ii 
lowing the paths of the iv 
wild cattle, traversed with \ 
difiiculty, by horsemen, who 
were often dragged from 
their seats by overhanging 
branches and intertwining 
vines of the jungle. The 
scenery, in some places, was 
enchanting. The limbs of 
the trees were festooned by 
the ever-present swaying 
moss, in its weird - like 
beauty, while the bright 
surface of some rift of water * 

repeated the wild picture in submerged reflection, giving realization 
unto visions of fairy land. 

On November 14, one man from each company received a fur- 
lough, for thirty days, and returned home. 

On November 15, six of the men assigned to Company K de- 
serted, and succeeded in escaping to the enemy on the main 
land. 

On the following day, five men deserted, from Company E, who 
also went over to the enemy's lines. 

On the 16th, a company of rebel cavalry appeared in sight, on 
the main land, opposite Cumberland Sound. The naval steamer 
Flambeau ran up the sound and threw some shell, which dispersed 
them. The next day, the same company was seen on the shore up 




A FLOBIDA SWAMP AND JUNGLE. 



222 HISTORY OF THE NINET T-SEVENTH REGIMENT. fNovembeT, 

the Amelia River, when the Flambeau again advanced and threw 
shell after them. 

November 26, the day set apart, by President Lincoln, as a day 
of thanksgiving, was appropriately observed at the post. The troops 
and citizens were assembled, at 10 A. M., in front of the Baptist 
Church, where a platform had been erected. Colonel Guss was an- 
nounced as president, Lieut. Col. Duer, Capt. Price and Lieut. D. 
Jones, vice-presidents, and Judge J. K. Stickney, of the U. S. Tax 
Commission, as secretary. 

The services were opened by introductory remarks, and followed 
by an appropriate prayer, by Rev. William Kennedy, of the United 
States Christian Commission. Music by the string band, recently 
organized, at Fort Clinch, principally by the members of Company 
A and other companies. Song, " America," sung by the ladies of 
the assemblage. Reading proclamation and accompanying remarks, 
by Capt. Alfred F. Sears, 1st N. Y. Eng's, constructing engineer 
of Fort Clinch. Song, "Star Spangled Banner." Remarks, by 
Edward Cavendy, acting volunteer lieutenant, commanding gun- 
boat Flambeau, and F. H. D'Estmauville, acting ensign of gunboat 
Flambeau. Song, "Red, White and Blue." Remarks, by Adjt. 
H. W. Carruthers, 97th P. V., post adjutant, and Capt Hawkins, 
Company I, 97th P. V. Song, "Hail Columbia." Hymn, "Old 
Hundred." Closing remarks and benediction, by Rev. Mr. Beard, 
of the U. S. Christian Commission. The exercises were most in- 
teresting. All the remarks were well timed and forcibly eloquent 
and enthusiastically received by the assembly. During the pro- 
ceedings, the best order prevailed. The string band, which inter- 
spersed the exercises, also gave some very beautiful performances in 
the afternoon, at Col. Guss' head-quarters, and several serenades in 
the evening. 

On November 28, four substitutes increased the number of de- 
serters from Company E, at the railroad bridge. They escaped 
across the river to the main land. 

About this time, 1st Lieut. John McGrath, Company E, was re- 
leased from duty, as post commissary, by 2d Lieut. Henry Odiorne, 
Company D. Lieut. McGrath was ordered to report at the post 
commissary, at Beaufort, S. C, for duty at that place. After a few 
weeks, he returned to Fernandina and was again assigned to duty as 
post commissary. 

During the month of November, the following deaths occurred 



1863.] TERNANDINA. SALUTE IN HONOR- OP GRANT'S VICTORIES. 223 

in the Regiment: Corp. Robert Trowland, Company T, on the 4th, 
of chronic diarrhoea, at Christian Street Hospital, Philadelphia; 
Private William G. McLane, Company C, on the 8th, of chronic 
diarrhoea, at Beaufort; Private Horace Passmore, Company A, 
on the 18th, of chronic diarrhoea, at Fernandina; Private James 
Wright, of Company G, on the 20th, of chronic diarrhoea, at Fer^ 
nandina; Private Samuel Pierson, substitute, of Company K, on 
the 25th, of dysentery, at Fernandina. The death of Passmore 
was the third in Company A since entering the service, a period of 
two years and three months. 

No discharges during the month of November. 

About December 1, in addition to his other duties, Maj. Penny- 
packer was appointed to superintend the company drills, act as 
instructor of officers, and to establish a school for the theoretical in- 
struction of the officers of the Regiment. 

On December 8, the Regiment was paid for the months of Sep- 
tember and October, by Maj. OrlofF M. Mason, paymaster U. S. Vols. 
The members of Companies A and G, after receiving their pay, 
made a most commendable and generous donation, by subscription, 
amounting to one hundred and thirty dollars, and forwarded it to 
Mrs. Yocum, of West Chester, Pa., who had lost a son in each of 
those companies. 

On December 9, a salute of thirty-five guns was fired from Fort 
fJlinch, Fla., in honor of Gen. Grant's victories over Gen. Braxton 
Bragg, at Lookout Mountain, Mission Ridge and Chattanooga, Tenn., 
on November 24 and 25. 

On the night of December 14, four additional men, of those re- 
cently assigned, eluded the vigilance of the guard and deserted from 
the camp. Their names were James Wilson, Company B, Peter 
Goodrich and John Williams of Company I, and James Thompson, 
Company K. They had evidently reached the road leading down 
the island at a point below the picket station by making a detour 
through the almost impenetrable thicket. After ascertaining this, 
Capt. Hawkins, with a crew of picked men, started in pursuit, along 
the inside channel, hoping to intercept the men before they could 
find means to cross to the main land. They, however, had reached 
the lower end of the island just as a boat, in charge of some negroes 
in the employ of Mr. H. H. Helper, government agent at Fernandina, 
who had been fishing, landed on the shore, Mr. Helper being at the 
time with another boat on the opposite side and out of view. The 



224 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. [December, 

deserters made a desperate attempt to capture the boat of the 
negroes. Goodrich, seizing the boat, pointed a pistol at the men who 
were trying to get off with it and fired, but, not hitting the negroes, 
wounded one of his companions (Thompson), who also had hold 
of the boat. This mishap disconcerted the men. The negroes ita- 
mediately jumped into the boat and pulled for the other shore to 
inform Mr. Helper of the attack. He then crossed the river with 
his men and approached the deserters, who were near their wounded 
companion. From his appearance, being dressed in a gray suit, they 
supposed he was a rebel and requested to be taken across, saying 
they were very sorry they had mistaken his men for " Fernandina 
niggers," and would make it all right with him as they had money. 
Mr. Helper did not disabuse them of their delusion, but, before 
agreeing to take them in his boats, insisted upon their surrendering 
their arms. This they agreed to, when Mr. Helper directed them to 
place their wounded companion in the boat first and then the three 
men to get in the forward part of the boat. Previously to crossing, 
he had armed himself and men with the carbines he usually carried 
on such excursions. Placing himself in a position to watch the 
slightest movement of the deserters, he ordered his men to puU for 
"the opposite side." It was now nearly dark. The deserters were 
beginning to regard with suspicion the course Mr. Helper was 
taking. In a very short time the boat of Capt. Hawkins was met, 
when the deserters realized for the first time that they were cap- 
tured. Capt. Hawkins received the prisoners of Mr. Helper and 
returned to Fernandina, where they were placed in charge of the 
provost marshal to await trial by court-martial. 

Christmas day, at Fernandina, was celebrated by a series of plea- 
sant festivities, participated in by the army, navy and citizens. 
Ample arrangements were made to secure the success of the enter- 
tainment. The exercises commenced, at 9 A. M., as follows: 

Target sliooting, Springfield rifled muskets, at one hundred yards. 
First prize, for best three shots, $5; second, $3; third, $2. Com- 
petitors : two men from each company and four from the naval force 
at the post. Committee to award prizes: Lieut. Col. A. P. Duer; 
Surgeon John E. Everhart; Capt. Mahlon E, Davis, 1st Fla.; J. 
B. Rhind, U. S. N.; John K. Stickney, Esq. First prize, won 
by Private Eli Dunlap, Company G; second prize, by Private Leo- 
nard Thomas, Company C; third prize, by Private Edward Wade, 
Company G. 



1863.] FERNANDINA. CHRISTMAS FESTIVITIES. 225 

Hurdle race. Distance, fifty yards ; five hurdles, two feet high ; 
race, through and back. First prize, $5; second, $3; third, $2. 
Committee: Capt. I. Price, 2d Lieut. H. Odiorne, F. H. D'Estmau- 
ville, U. S. N. The prizes were won by sailors, names not ascer- 
tained. 

Blindfold wheelbarrow feat. Distance, fifty yards to goal stake. 
The competitors to start separately, each blindfolded, his back to the 
goal. First prize, to man leaving barrow nearest to stake, $3; 
second prize, to n^t in distance, $2. Committee: Capt. D. W. C. 
Lewis, Lieut. G. O. Yarnall, Lieut. G. A. Lemaistre. No record 
was obtained of the successful competitors. 

Boat race, between the army, and navy boats' crews, to a stake- 
boat and return. Preliminaries arranged by the following com- 
mittee: Capt. G. W. Hawkins, A. S. Megattelin, U. S. N., and 
John Harris, U. S. N. Prize, $15. Committee to award prize: 
Col. H. R. Guss, Capt. Alfred H. Sears, 1st N. Y. Eng's, and 
Act'g Lieut. Com. Edward Cavendy, U. S. N. The competitors 
were the boat's crew of the U. S. gunboat Flambeau and the 
post boat's crew, consisting of Corp. Harry L. Pyott, Privates 
Harry T. Gray, William Given and Lewis Edward Humpton, all 
of Company A, and Privates Michael H. Matthews and John J. 
Richardson, Company I. This contest was entered into with great 
spirit and determination on both sides. The crew of the 97th P. 
V. rowed with surprising steadiness and force, showing a degree of 
proficiency with the oar that elicited universal admiration. They 
defeated their opponents signally, giving a proud victory to the land 
forces in bearing off the prize. 

Sack race. Distance fifty yards. First prize, $3; second, |;2; 
third, $1. Committee: Capt. Caleb Hoopes, Ass't Surgeon George 
W. Miller, Lieut. S. V. Black. Prizes won by sailors. 

Foot race. Distance, two hundred yards. First prize, $5; second, 
$3. Committee: Adjt. H. W. Carruthers. Lieut. William Peace, 
Act'g Ass't Surgeon Samuel B. Hoppin, U. S. N. First pl-ize, 
won by Private Eli Dunlap, Company G, and a sailor the second. 

Hurdle sacJc race. Distance, thirty yards; three hurdles, one 
foot high. First prize, $5; second, $3. Committee: Ass't Surgeon 
William C. Morrison, Lieut. James T. Skiles, Lieut. James Mc- 
Williams. The prizes won by sailors. 

Jig dance. Price to best dancer, $5. Committee : Lieut. John 
McGrath, Lieut. F. J. Eachus and Mr. John Forrest, sutler of 97th 
15 



226 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH EEGIMENT. [December, 

P. V. Three .competitors — a sailor and two soldiers. The prize 
won by the former. 

Meal feat. Open to all contrabands at the post. Prize, the 
meal, coin, and $5. Committee; Capt. William McConnell, Lieut. 
I. Fawkes, Lieut. J. Knapp. Three competitors for this exceed- 
ingly ludicrous feat. The prize was born off by a contraband sailor 
of the Flambeau. The two others received a contribution from the 
officers present. _ 

Greased pig race. Pig to have ten yards start. Prize, the pig, 
to be aAvarded to the one catching and holding him by the tail. 
Committee : Lieut. John Wainwright, Lieut. H. Kauffman, H. H. 
Helper, Esq., Superintendent of Contrabands. The pig won his 
own bacon. 

Master of ceremonies for the day: Maj. G. Pennypacker. As- 
sistants: Capt. F. M. Guss, Capt. J. M. C. Savage, Qr. Mr. David 
Jones, Lieut. Thomas Cosgriff. Chairman committee of arrange- 
ments: Capt. W. S. Mendenhall. 

The day was most pleasant — mild as spring-time at the north. 
Every arrangement was perfected to make the occasion interesting 
and indicative of the good feeling existing between the army, navy 
and citizens. The games and festivities occupied most of the day 
and evening, and afforded much amusement both to spectators and 
participants. The officers of the 97th P. V. distributed about one 
hundred dollars in prizes to the successful competitors and others. 

A bountiful Christmas dinner was provided, by Mrs. St. John, for 
the officers of the Regiment and their guests. Every delicacy of a 
southern climate and the larder of the department were laid under 
contribution to supply the viands. Roast turkey, pig, ducks, 
chickens, oysters in every style, and pastry that vied with the most 
delicious productions of Delmonico's or Mrs. Pyle's, were duly in- 
troduced in regular course, followed by fruits, nuts and wines. 
Beautiful bouquets of flowers lent the finishing touches of grace 
that crowned Mrs. St. John's most creditable efforts to gratify the 
officers and their guests. 

In the evening, an amusing burlesque entertainment was produced 
at the camp by an amateur negro minstrel troop, organized at Fort 
Clinch, from the men of Companies A, H and G, by Sergt. John 
A. Russell, of Company H, and Eli B. Grubb, of Company G, with 
vocal and instrumental music, and other performances. The string 
band, already referred to, composed the orchestra usually, but it was 



1863.] FERNANDINA. CHRISTMAS FESTIVITIES. 227 

otherwise engaged upon this occasion, much to the regret of those 
who were attracted to that entertainment. 

Another gathering, of a more select order, was convened, in a 
large building, at the corner of Third and Centre Streets, under the 
auspices of the officers at the post, who had invited a large number 
of guests to a social party and grand supper, to which the presence 
of about thirty ladies, members of the officers' families or of ci- 
vilians at the post lent crowning grace. It was an occasion greatly 
enjoyed as a contrast to the long period of service, deprived of social 
entertainment and the refining influence of woman's presence, to 
modify the stern asperities of duty and camp life. The arrange- 
ments were of the most complete and ample order. The dancing 
hall was most abundantly decorated with bunting, mostly supplied by 
the naval vessels, and festooned with green vines and boughs. The 
supper room above was provided with every comfort and delicacy to 
be found and "all went merry as a marriage bell." The string band 
was here in requisition, and earned most ample applause for its 
elegant terpsichorean music to which the active feet of the dancers 
kept time until it ran on into " the wee sma' hours " of the morn- 
ing. The editor of the Peninsular, who was a guest, thus comments : 
"We have heard but one expression in regard to the affair, and 
that was of unqualified praise and delight from every guest and par- 
ticipant. The officers of the 97th P. V. have reason to be proud 
of, and we congratulate them upon the well-deserved favor they 
have won by their gentlemanly bearing, no less than for the hos- 
pitable, we might say princely, manner in which they entertained 
their friends. We have not time nor space to particularize, but 
must not omit to mention the fact that a goodly number of ladies, 
both lovely and beautiful, graced the occasion with their presence. 
We wish the officers of the 97th P. V. many happy returns of the 
joyous occasion." 

During the month of December, twelve enlisted men were dis- 
charged, on surgeon's certificate of disability, nearly all, at Fernan- 
dina, on the 9th. Two men died, at the post, of chronic diarrhoea : 
Wagoner Peter J. Wonderly, Company K, on the 4th, and Private 
William Malaney, Company G, on the 8th. 

On New Year night, Capt. Alfred F. Sears, 1st N. Y. Eng's, en- 
tertained his friends with a social party, at his residence in Old 
Town, to which Col. Guss and staff, several officers of the 97th 
P. V. and others on duty at the post, and many ladies and citizens 



228 HISTORY OF THE NINETT-SEVENTH REGIMENT. F January, 

were invited, enjoying a most delightful evening together, with 
their host and his amiable lady, who contributed very greatly to 
the success of the occasion and the gratification of their numerous 

friends. 

On the night of January 3, one substitute of Company B and 
five of Company K deserted, and on that of the 6th, three more, of 
Company H, deserted. On the following morning, the Eegiment, 
under the command of Maj. Pennypacker, made a partial scout of 
the island, but no clue was found to the direction they had taken, 
except that a boat was missed from the boatyard, where a guard was 
posted in sight. Marks of a boat shoved through the mud and 
tracks of men were found one-quarter of a mile oiF, made either by 
negroes fishing or, possibly, by the men deserting. An order was 
then issued to destroy all the old boats at the post. Twenty-eight 
men had deserted and only four were retaken. Double duty was 
now required of the men of the Regiment. Guards from the fort 
were placed at the wharf near Old Town and pickets sent out in 
small boats along the inside channels to intercept the deserters. 

On January 9, Maj. Gen. Q. A. Gillmore, commanding the De- 
partment of the South, visited the post of Fernandina. He was re- 
ceived with appropriate ceremonies at head-quarters and afterward 
visited the fort and some other stations and places of interest, 
accompanied by Col. H. E.. Guss and officers of his staff. Gen. 
Gillmore expressed satisfaction at the order and condition of the 
post and the efficiency observed in the performance of duty by the 
officers and men. 

About this time, 1st Lieut. Isaac Fawkes, Company D, was de- 
tailed for a short time as acting assistant inspector general of post, 
to relieve Adjt. Carruthers, who was occupied with the duties of 
judge advocate upon court-martial at the provost marshal's head- 
quarters. 

On January 11, two men from each company of the Regiment 
received furloughs for twenty-five days and returned to their homes. 
Those who had received furloughs, in December, returned to the 
Eegiment on January 14. 

On January 17, four, deserters from the rebel army came from the 
main land to the picket outpost at the railroad bridge ; they brought 
their horses, accoutrements, etc. They had attended a party the 
night previously, having a leave of absence from Camp Cooper for 
the purpose, and left the party during the night, reaching our hnes 



1864.] FERNANDINA. VISIT OF GENERAL GILLMORE. 229 

early in the morning. They were fine-looking men, who had been 
compelled to enter the rebel service and had determined to desert at 
the first favorable opportunity. 

On the 21st, about thirty additional prisoners were received by 
the provost marshal. They arrived under guard, on steamer Maple 
Leaf, from Hilton Head, being under sentence of confinement at 
Fort Clinch. 

On the same day, Sergt. Acker, of the provost guard, with a detail, 
was placed in charge of several prisoners and sent to Tiger Island, 
to cut timber for piles, to rebuild the wharf at Fernandina. They 
were provided with tents, rations, etc., and remained upon that duty 
for five days, when they returned, having cut and rafted a sufla- 
cient quantity of logs for that purpose. The prisoners were after- 
ward employed in rebuilding the wharf and in building additional 
quarters for forty-eight prisoners at the provost grounds. 

On January 31, the Regiment was reviewed by Col. H. E. Guss, 
and afterward inspected and mustered for pay, the detachments, 
excepting the detail for the day's duty, having marched to Fernan- 
dina for the purpose. 

During January, but two men died of disease and none were 
discharged. 

On February 3, Sergt. Webster A. Nichols, Corp. John B. Grif- 
fith and Privates Albert James Reese and Robert Bruce Wallace, 
all 6f Company B, started on a scout to the main land, to ascertain 
the condition of the bridges on the Fernandina and Pilatka Rail- 
road and to examine the locality and strength of the rebel Camp 
Cooper. The detail returned on the 9th, having safely and suc- 
cessfully accomplished the object for which it was sent. 

On February 5, 2d Lieut. John Knapp, Company I, having re- 
signed, was honorably discharged and returned home. 

The prisoners — Wilson, Goodrich, Williams and Thompson — ar- 
rested for desertion, and placed in charge of the provost marshal, 
in December, 1863, were subsequently tried by a general court-mar- 
tial, at Fernandina, of which Maj. Pennypacker was president and 
Adjt. H. W. Carruthers was judge advocate. They were ably de- 
fended by Judge James M. Latta, but, the evidence being conclu- 
sive, they were all convicted. Three were sentenced to be shot. 
Williams, the youngest, who it was evident had been unduly in- 
fluenced by the others, without having realized the consequences 
of the crime of desertion, was sentenced to imprisonment at hard 



230 HISTOKT OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. [February, 

labor for the balance of his term of service, with the forfeiture of all 
pay and allowances except necessary clothing-, and to be dishonorably 
discharged at the expiration of the sentence and term of service. 

On February 6, the sentences of the four deserters, convicted by 
court-martial, having been forwarded to department head-quarters 
for approval by the commanding general, were returned with direc- 
tions to execute the terms of sentence within twenty-four hours after 
receiving the order. This most painful announcement was therefore 
made to the prisoners by the provost marshal, and the sentences read 
to them by Adjt. Carruthers, at 3 P. M. on the 6th. The time of 
execution was fixed for 3 P. M. on February 7. Every precaution 
had from the first been taken to prevent the escape of the prisoners, 
who were ironed and doubly guarded. Several attempts to file off 
the irons had been detected and frustrated. During the night of 
the 6th, Goodrich, being attended to the sink by a corporal, while 
returning to his cell, one handcuff not having been refastened, 
suddenly managed to throw off all his irons, which had evi- 
dently been cut previously, and ran past the guard. The corporal 
fired after him and, with others of the guard, started in pursuit. He 
eluded them in the darkness and made his escape. 

James Wilson and James Thompson were shot, at 3 P. M.,'on 
the Tth, in conformity with orders received, the Regiment being 
under arms and formed in line near the place of execution. The 
citizens, also, were assembled to witness the painful scene. A de- 
tail of twelve men, for a firing party, with a reserve of equal num- 
ber, was made. This solemn and deeply painful duty was met, by 
those whose province it was to obey the orders, with quiet firmness, 
impressive of the stern necessity of the lesson. The prisoners met 
their fate firmly and bravely. 

On the 8th, three hundred men of the Regiment, under command 
of Maj. Pennypacker, skirmished the entire island, from the picket 
lines to the south end, searching for the escaped prisoner, Goodrich, 
without success. This force passed the night, on the beach, at the 
end of the island, and returned to camp the next morning. The 
search was continued, by the patrol and a detail of scouts, for 
several days. Goodrich remained secreted, in a dense thicket, 
near the town, until the 12th, when he was encountered by the pa- 
trol, in the woods, and recaptured after a desperate chase and resist- 
ance, being several times slightly wounded. His execution was de- 
ferred until the orders of the department head-quarters could be 



1^63] EXPEDITION TO CAMP COOPER. 231 

ascertained, in the hope of a commutation of his sentence. Orders 
were, however, received, on February 26, to have the sentence 
carried out vi^ithin tvpenty-four hours. He was accordingly executed, 
at 3 P. M., on the 27th, under similar arrangements and attendance 
as on the 7th. 

On the 9th, a detachment of two hundred and ninety men of the 
Regiment, commanded by Maj. Pennypacker, crossed to the main 
land, at the railroad bridge, for the purpose of advancing against the 
enemy, at Camp Cooper. The men were provided with two days' 
cooked rations, forty rounds of ammunition, and marched in light 
marching order. At dark, Maj. Pennypacker 's force crossed the 
stream, and was ready to start inland at 8.30 P. M. 

At 9 A. M., on' the same day, Capt. Lewis, of Company F, with 
twenty-five men of his company and a detachment of sailors, from 
the U. S. brig Perry, with two howitzers; also a detachment of 
men from the naval schooner Para; had embarked on the steamer 
Island City, with orders to proceed to the mouth of the Nassau 
River and to advance up that river about fifty miles, by its course, 
to a point opposite to Camp Cooper, to co-operate with the land 
forces, under command of Maj. Pennypacker, the object being to 
withdraw attention from the approach of the latter. 

During the trip up the river, shot and shell were fired at every 
point where rebel pickets might be lurking. As the steamer ap- 
proached a large sawmill and dwelling, several shots were fired. 
When nearing the house, a white flag was seen, which, upon close 
inspection, proved to be a white petticoat fastened to a broomstick, 
vigorously waved by a young lady, who stood upon a pile of slab 
cuttings, by the mill. Firing was suspended and the steamer an- 
chored. Lieut. Wainwright, Company F, was sent ashore, with 
some men, to communicate with those he might find at the place. 
The young lady met him and conducted him to the house, which 
he entered, and found another lady who proved to be a Mrs. Holmes, 
the wife of the mill owner. Lieut. Wainwright, observing a table 
set, ready for tea, for six, inquired if there were any other persons 
in the house. Receiving a negative reply, he inquired why she had 
set six plates upon the table for two ladies. She became confused, 
but quickly replied that she expected company to tea. The ladies 
were then taken on board the steamer, to prevent their communi- 
eating with the enemy. The steamer then proceeded further up 
the river to a well-protected position and anchored, for the night, to 



232 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. [Febrnary, 

await the operations of Maj. Pennypacker. The next morning, the 
steamer returned, left the unwilling lady prisoners at their house, 
and passed further down the river, to make connection with the 
land force. 

Maj. Pennypacker advanced along the railroad about four miles, 
then struck off to the left, traversing a road through a pine wood 
for several miles, again came upon the railroad, his march being 
guided by the assistance of Sergt. Nichols, the men who had ex- 
plored the route with him, and by a Mr. Grisham and two colored 
guides, who were perfectly familiar with the locality; crossed the 
railroad one mile from Lofton Bridge; then proceeded along what 
was called Hart Road until passing Lofton Swamp, the headwaters 
of Lofton Creek, where, at 3 A. M., Maj. Pennypacker ordered a 
halt and sent forward a reconnoitering party, in addition to his ad- 
vance guard, to examine the country. The scouts soon returned, 
reporting that Camp Cooper was on the right of this road, about 
one mile in advance. 

Maj. Pennypacker then moved his battalion silently and cau- 
tiously forward and formed in line on the northwest side of the 
camp, disposing his force so as to close in upon three sides of it 
at once. His scouts reported a few sentinels on camp guard and a 
few men around the camp fires. At the first dawn of dayUght, 
Maj. Pennypacker led his force upon the camp. His men, sweeping 
through it, found it almost deserted. A few prisoners and their 
horses were captured, from whom it was learned that the force sta- 
tioned there, three companies of the East Fla. Cav., commanded by 
Maj. Harrison, had marched, on the 8th, to Camp Finnigan, in the 
vicinity of Jacksonville. The camp was large and well located. 
There being no apprehension of an attack, but few men had been 
left to have a care of the property, consisting of a small amount 
of inferior stores and clothing. These, together with the ofiicers' 
quarters, a few rude shanties, were all destroyed'; a few trophies, 
camp utensils, cavalry sabres, etc., were secured by the men. 

After resting for an hour, the force started to return to Fernan- 
dina, reaching the drawbridge at 2 P.M. On the return march, 
Maj. Pennypacker dispatched Companies B and K, under command 
of Capt. Savage, of Company B, to communicate with Capt. Lewis' 
force on the Nassau River, at Nassau Mills, and return with him 
on the steamer. On the return trip, the forces on the Island City 
shelled the woods on both sides to drive away the rebel guerrillas 



1864.] CAPTURE OF CAMP COOPER. 233 

who were seen lurking along the banks, watching for opportunity to 
fire upon the men crowded on the steamer. 

Maj. Pennypacker also dispatched a small force to Clark's rebel 
picket station, which found nothing except a few head of cattle in 
corral. The soldiers marched well, without straggling. 

An incident occurred during this expedition which is worthy of 
notice, being but little known in the Regiment beyond those con- 
cerned in the matter. As the steamer lay at anchor, in Nassau 
River, in the early morning sunlight, the glitter of bayonets was 
noticed far over the marshes up the river. After considerable specu- 
lation in reference to it, in connection with the understanding that 
the land forces should join the steamer somewhere on the river, 
Lieut. Wainwright was directed to take a boat's crew of five sailors 
and a guard of soldiers and proceed up one of the little confluent 
streams which traverse the marshes, make a landing on the main 
land, reconnoitre the position and ascertain the character of the 
force. About a mile from the steamer a landing was effected, on a 
sparsely wooded point of land, considerably covered with Under- 
growth. 

Leaving the sailors with the boat, Lieut. Wainwright deployed 
his few men. His left protected by the marsh, but his right un- 
protected, he commenced a cautious forward movement up the river. 
Before getting out of sight of his boat he observed men, in rebel 
uniforms, advancing around his right flank, completely cutting off" 
his retreat. Turning toward the boat, he observed the sailors, who 
had also noticed the advancing rebel uniforms, now pulling for life 
toward the steamer to save themselves. The situation was ex- 
tremely, alarming to Lieut. Wainwright and his men. The pros- 
pect of Libby and Andersonville Prisons became more inevitable as 
still other rebel uniforms came pouring in on the right, but, sin- 
gular enough, now mixed with the Union blue. Close observation 
proved that the party was none other than a part of the force sent 
against Camp Cooper, Companies B and K, of the 97th P. V., de- 
tailed by Maj. Pennypacker to join the force on Nassau River and 
for whom they were now waiting. The men had captured, among 
other trophies, some rebel uniforms, which they had donned for the 
fun of the thing, a somewhat dangerous practical joke, which, fortu- 
nately, resulted without harm. A hearty laugh was indulged in all 
around. The sailors were signaled to return with the boat, which 
they did with considerable chagrin, much to the amusement of the 



234 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. [February, 

whole party. The two companies were also taken on board the 
steamer, which returned to Fernandina the same evening. 

Adjt. Carruthers accompanied Maj. Pennypacker on the expedi- 
.tion and rendered very valuable assistance. The guides — especially 
Mr. E. G. Grisham — being entirely familiar with the country, their 
assistance was indispensable. The colored guides, Prince and 
Charles, also rendered efficient service. Had the expedition been 
undertaken a few days earlier, the result might have proved more 
satisfactory. The march embraced a circuit of fifty miles within 
twenty-four hours. The force reached camp at 10.30 P. M., on the 
10th, the men quite ready for a night's rest. 

It had been determined, by Gen. Gillmore, to send an expedi- 
tion to Woodstock Mills and King's Ferry Mills, on the St. Mary's 
River, Ga., for the purpose of procuring lumber and mill gearing to 
be used in the department. The command of the land force was 
given to Maj. Pennypacker, who received orders from Col. Guss to 
march with about three hundred men of the 97th P. V. He had also 
received written orders from Maj. T. B. Brooks, aid-de-camp to Gen. 
Gillmore, in regard to the expedition. That officer started up the 
St. Mary's River with the transports, accompanied by the U. S. 
naval schooner Para, commanded by Act'g Master E. G. Furber, 
the expedition being under the direction of Maj. Brooks. 

On February 15, the land force left Fernandina, provided with 
two days' cooked rations, forty rounds of ammunition, and in light 
marching order, again accompanied by the guides, Mr. Grisham and 
the negroes. Prince and Charles; crossed on the Island City to 
Clark's Landing, on Amelia river, opposite Fernandina, and half an 
hour before daylight commenced the march toward the Mills, dis- 
tant nearly thirty-three miles. The march was made in good order, 
having flankers and an advance guard well out, no straggling being 
permitted. Persons living along the road, who could give informa- 
tion, were obliged to march with the column until it arrived at its 
destination, which was reached at sunset. It was a hard day's 
march and the road unusually difficult. The men became somewhat 
jaded and footsore, but the march was not materially retarded. 
"When within two miles of the Mills, twenty picked men, under 
Lieut. Cosgriff', Company F, were sent forward, through bypaths, to 
surprise and capture the enemy's picket post, supposed to be sta- 
tioned at the Mills. The object was to prevent the lumber being 
fired, it having been reported that a picket was kept on the watch, 



1864 J EXPEDITION TO "WOODSTOCK AND KING'S FERRY MILLS. 235 

with orders to burn the lumber and mills on the approach of any 
Union force. Lieut. Cosgriff and his men reached there without 
encountering any force and in ample time to baffle any attempt to 
destroy the property by the residents. Upon the arrival of Maj. 
Pennypacker's command, he threw out pickets along the river for 
nearly a mile; also on the Georgia side for half a mile, and the 
same distance to the rear of his position, on the south side of the 
river posted guards for the protection of private property, and then 
bivouacked his command. 

On the following morning, the men, under direction of Mr. Sharp, 

an experienced raftsman, set to work building rafts of the lumber 

' found at Woodstock Mills, said to belong to the estate of Mr. Edwin 

Alberti, deceased. Experienced negro raftsmen also accompanied 

the expedition to assist in making rafts. 

Picket duty was constantly maintained to guard against surprise, 
requiring active vigilance, being far from support in the enemy's 
country. Upon one occasion, while Company A was on picket, on 
the road leading toward Jacksonville, about midnight, the sound of 
approaching steps was heard by the guard on duty, and a mass of 
moving objects could be discerned in the darkness; The number 
seemed to indicate a body of troops coming cautiously toward the 
line. Leveling his piece, the guard commanded a " halt ! " in a loud 
determined tone, intending to fire if the command was not instantly 
complied with. It was, however, promptly obeyed. " Who comes 
there 1 " was called by the guard. The response rang out upon the 
midnight air, " Oh, massa, we is colored people." It was ascertained 
to be a party of eleven contrabands, men, women and children, 
ragged, hungry -and cold, seeking a refuge from the unrelenting 
fetters of a merciless bondage. They were sent to head-quarters 
and provided with food and shelter, much to their delight and grati- 
tude. 

Maj. Brooks, with the transports, reached the Mills during the 
afternoon of the 16th. Under his direction, the work was continued 
until the 20th, when he relinquished the charge of the entire com- 
mand to Maj. Pennypacker and returned to Fernandina. A large 
amount of lumber, most of it very valuable, was sent to Fernan- 
dina, from the Woodstock and King's Ferry Mills, near to the 
former. The property at the latter was said to have belonged to 
a Mr. Germond, whose abandoned residence was near by. 
Lieut. J. T. Skiles, Company B, served as acting adjutant. Asst. 



236 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. [February, 

Surgeon W. C. Morrison accompanied the detachment to give the 
requisite attention to those who might require his services. 

Two rebel deserters, four refugees and about twenty-five negroes 
came inside the Unes at the Mills, and were sent to Fernandina to 
report to the provost marshal. Two prisoners, captured on the 
march to the Mills, were also sent under guard to the provost mar- 
shal. They were supposed to belong to the rebel army, but were 
subsequently released. 

While operating at Woodstock Mills, Maj. Pennypacker dis- 
patched Company F, under command of Capt. Lewis, on a raid on 
the Georgia side of the river, for the purpose of effectually destroy- 
ing the telegraph communication between Tallahassa, Fla., and Sa^ 
vannah, Ga. It had already been cut in one or two places, but 
communication had been kept up by a new and temporary connec- 
tion that eluded discovery. The object was successfully accomplished 
by following the line from Traders' Hill, near King's Ferry Mills, 
along the river and across the swamps for a distance of nearly fifteen 
miles without interruption by the enemy. The new connection was 
finally discovered at a point where a wire branched off into a hoUow 
tree so close to the line as to almost defy detection. The wire led off 
from the roots of the tree into the swamp, and thence by a concealed 
route to reconnect with the line beyond the part destroyed. A 
rebel mail carrier was captured during the raid and his mail secured. 
On the return march, a portion of the rebel Gen. Clinch's command 
was ascertained to be making an attempt to intercept Capt. Lewis' 
command, but he effected his return to the Mills in safety. 

On February 22, Maj. Pennypacker received orders to return with 
his entire force to Fernandina with all possible dispa'tch. The order 
was in consequence of the disaster to the forces under Gen. Seymour, 
at Olustee, Fla., on February 20. During the preparations for de- 
parture, a rebel cavalry force, that had several times appeared on the 
Georgia side approaching the line of pickets for the purpose of ob- 
servation, made some demonstrations of advance. Maj . Pennypacker 
sent Company B, with ten men of Company A, under command of 
Capt. Savage, Company B, across the St. Mary's River to reconnoi- 
tre the situation beyond the picket. After going a short distance, 
they encountered and drove in rebel pickets, consisting of cavalry 
and infantry. Going some distance further without meeting any 
larger force, Capt.. Savage returned, having three men of Company 
B wounded slightly, viz.: Corp. James Jackson, in foot. Private 



1864.] EXPEDITION TO WOODSTOCK AND KING'S. FERRY MILLS. 237 

Henry A. Lamping, in left ankle, and Private Joseph Schrobenthal, 
in foot. 

Having embarked his troops on the steamers Island City and 
Harriet A. Weed, Maj. Pennypacker started to return, the 
schooner Para being taken in tow by the Harriet A. Weed. Four 
rafts, that were ready to have been towed down the river, were cut 
adrift in order that they might float down with the tide. The ex- 
pedition reached Fernandina, on the 23d, without casualty during 
the absence of the force except the instances previously noted. 

About one million five hundred thousand feet of lumber had been 
secured by the troops. 

The schooner Para captured a small river steamer, named Hard 
Times, of Uttle value — a kind of scow with a small engine. While 
on the expedition, rations were sometimes short, when some com- 
plaint, mingled with many very amusing practical jokes, occurred 
among the men; they were, however, always obedient and cheerful, 
being disposed to make the best of circumstances. 

An account of the expedition which appeared in the New South, 
a paper published at Hilton Head, S. C, dated March 5, 1864, is 
mainly correct in its statements : 

"One of the most successful raids, for one executed by a small force of men, 
that has taken place In this department, was accomplished by the 97th Pennsyl- 
vania Regiment in the early part of last week. The entire expedition was under 
the command of Maj. Brooks, of Gen. Gillmore's staff. It was so planned that 
the troops comprising the expedition should reach the point of destination at 
about the same time as did the Independent Battalion, Mass. Cav., under the 
command of Maj. Stevens, which started from Barber's, Fla., on Sunday morning, 
February 14. 

•'At night, of the same day, three hundred men of the 97th P. Y., commanded 
by Maj. G. Pennypacker, crossed the river at Fernandina, Fla., to the opposite 
shore. They then marched up that side of the St. Mary's River, keeping 
as near its bank as practicable, until they came to King's Ferry, the point of 
destination and which is distant from Fernandina forty-five miles. On the march 
up they met with no opposition, although they expected and were prepared to 
encounter more or less of the enemy. 

"On the morning of the following Tuesday, two hundred others, of the 97th 
P. v., embarked on board four army transports, including the Harriet A. Weed, 
which carried three guns, and proceeded up the St. Mary's River, also bound for 
King's Perry. The' transports were accompanied by one mortar schooner, the 
Para. Maj. Brooks went with the river force, on the Harriet A. Weed. On the 
passage up the river, several shots were fired into the woods, on either side, for 
the purpose of annoying the enemy, but the firing failed to bring any rebols to 
view. * * * 



238 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. [February, 

" The main object of the expedition was to seize a large quantity of lumber that 
wag in the vicinity of the ferry, information of which had reached Gen Gillmore, 
who ordered the raid to be made. In this respect, the expedition could not have 
been more successful. At the ferry above, was found seven hundred thousand 
feet of the best prepared pine, and, about six miles further up, an additional eight 
hundred thousand feet. A widow lady, Mrs. Alberti, claims ownership of the 
lumber at the ferry. She resides there and professes to be a strong adherent to 
the Union. She said three years ago she could have readily disposed of the 
lumber for $50,000. Her case will, of course, be investigated and her claim re- 
ceive due attention. 

" In five days, fully one half of the lumber had been rafted and towed down 
to Fernandina. Besides the rafts of lumber, the decks of the steamers were 
loaded. St. Mary's River being very serpentine, it was by no means an easy 
matter to pilot a steamer with rafts in tow. In one instance, a raft became de- 
tached and floated under the wheels of the Nelly Baker, causing a breakage of 
three paddles ; the accident, however, did not prevent the steamer from pro- 
ceeding on her trip." 

Another account of the expedition appeared, February 25, 1864, 
in the Peninsular, a paper published at Fernandina, Fla. After 
giving a description of the mills and the object of the expedition, 
thus refers to the part performed by the 97th P. V.: 

"* * * To prevent the destruction of the property by the rebels, on 
the approach of our boats, a detachment, from the 97th P. V., under command^ 
of that brave and accomplished young oflScer, Maj. G. Pennypacker, of that 
Regiment, was dispatched overland, a distance of nearly forty miles, through 
ponds, creeks and woods, accomplishing the entire distance in about twelre 
hours, capturing on their way the notorious guerilla, Capt. Wilds, who strenu- 
ously denied that he was the man, but was forced to yield himself up, on the 
testimony of a man who had formerly been his slave, and who clinched the 
matter with: 'You tink I don't know you, when you own me so long?' 

"The detachment arrived in time and secured possession of the property. The 
boats steamed their way slowly up the river, shelling all suspicious places on the 
banks as they advanced. On their arrival, the men were immediately put to 
work constructing rafts, loading the boats and some scows found there. 

"At this time, the best portion of the lumber has been landed at the wharves 
here and at Hilton Head, a vessel load having been sent to that place. The 
success of the expedition is in striking contrast with similar ones, planned at a 
previous period, by different parties, for the St. John's, which resulted in giving 
the rebels timely notice of their approach so that they kindled large fires in 
honor of their coming, which, unfortunately, consumed not only the lumber but 
the mills which sawed it. * * *" 

During the absence of Maj. Pennypacker's command, the other 
companies of the Regiment were paid, on February 19, by Maj. 



1864.] RETURN FROM WOODSTOCK AND KING'S FERRY MILLS. 239 

Edmund J. Porter, paymaster U. S. Vols., who remained until the 
return of the St. Mary's expedition, when those companies were 
also paid for the two months ending- December 31. 1863. Maj. 
Porter was an agreeable, accommodating gentleman, very pleasing 
to the men. Desirous of avoiding mistakes, he insisted upon their 
counting their money before leaving the pay table. 

On February 20, Brev. Lieut Cols. Michael E.. Morgan "and 
Kichard R. Jackson, of Gen. Gillmore's staff, the latter inspector 
general of the department, inspected the sanitary condition of the 
post hospital. They pronounced it in the best condition of any 
visited by them and complimented Dr. Everhart, post surgeon, very 
highly for admirable management and success in bringing his de- 
partment into such order and excellent condition. The post hos- 
pital and regimental quarters were inspected, on previous occasions, 
by Lieut. Col. Peter Pino, medical inspector, U. S. A., and Surgeons 
Horace R. Wirtz and Ebenezer Swift, U. S. A., all of whom attested 
their high appreciation of the excellent sanitary condition at the 
post. Adj. Carruthers, acting assistant inspector general of the post, 
regularly inspected the quarters, company and regimental property 
and all public departments at the post. 

On February 21, news of the defeat of Gen. Seymour, at Olustee, 
on the 20th, reached Fernandina. This intelligence caused the with- 
drawal of Maj. Pennypacker's command from Woodstock Mills, as 
already stated. Reaching Fernandina late on the evening of the 
23d, the naval vessels incautiously fired their guns, shot and shell 
charged, across the swamps, causing considerable alarm at the post 
which for a time created apprehensions of attack by the enemy. 

Subsequently, a reconnoisance was made up the St. Mary's River, 
by the steamer Island City, having on board Company F of the 97th 
P. v., commanded by Capt D. W. C. Lewis. At the village of 
St. Mary's, they encountered and drove away the enemy's pickets 
and brought off a large boiler-iron chimney from one of the mills 
in that place, which was sent to Jacksonville, for use in one of the 
government sawmills there. After procuring the chimney, the 
steamer proceeded several miles up the river searching for the rafts 
of lumber that had been set adrift when the forces left Woodstock 
Mills. 

On February 24, Surgeon John R. Everhart, having received a 
short leave of absence, his first since entering the service, started 
home. 



240 HISTORT OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. [February, 

On February 25, Lieut. John McGrath-was relieved from duty, in 
the commissary department, by Lieut. Henry Odiorne, Company D. 

On the 26th, the men who .had received furloughs in January re- 
turned to the Regiment. 

During February, there was but one man discharged. Chandler 
Miller, substitute, of Company C, by order of Secretary of War, 
Special Order No. 51, dated War Department, Adjutant General's 
Office, Washington, D. C, February 2, 1864. He was under 
eighteen years of age, and had entered the service without the con- 
sent of his parents. 

Daniel Morgan, Company E, died, on the 26th, of consumption. 

On March 5, Col. H. R. Guss and Capt. Price, provost marshal, 
with part of Company C, on the steamer Island City, went to Clark's 
Landing, having with them a refugee from the rebel district who 
came over at the railroad bridge, on the 2d. He had arranged with 
his family, before leaving them, to come to Clark's at that time. 
For some cause they failed to get there. They subsequently came, 
and, making signals which were observed, a boat was dispatched 
which brought them safely to Fernandina. 

On the 12th, Conscript William Wilkins, Company C, who had 
several times attempted to desert, and had been kept in confinement 
for a time, managed to elude the guard and secret himself upon the 
steamer Boston before leaving the wharf for Jacksonville. When 
it was discovered that he was missing, a boat was sent through the 
inland channel, Back River, to intercept the Boston on the St. John's 
River. The pursuing party, commanded by Lieut. F. J. Eachus, 
Company C, met the Boston, but failed to find the deserter, who 
was never recaptured. It is supposed he managed to effectually con- 
ceal his presence on the boat, and escaped to the enemy, at Jackson- 
ville. Capt. Johnson aff"orded every facility for this search, and 
there was no blame attached to any of his officers, the conceal- 
ment being wholly a success of the deserter, aided perhaps by some 
of the subordinates among the crew. 

Early in January, 1864, efforts were made by the War Depart- 
ment to induce the men, whose term of service would expire during 
the current year, to re-enlist as veterans. General Order No. 190, 
dated Adjutant General's Office, War Department, Washington, D. 
C, June 25, 1863, authorized the re-enlistment of men who had less 
than one year to serve. The order not being fully promulgated in 
the department until late in November, but few men had re-enhsted. 



1864; 



FERNANDINA. RE-ENLISTMENT OF VETERANS. 241 



With a view to more active interest in this direction, it was deter- 
mined to appoint a recruiting officer for each regiment that had 
served oyer two years. To this duty, 1st Lieut. James T. Skiles, 
Company B, was appointed about January 12. Additional induce- 
ments of bounty and a thirty days' furlough were announced. Great 
interest began now to be manifested by the men. The time of re- 
enlistment having been extended to March 1, three hundred and 
thirty-seven of the men originally enlisted, and recruits, who had 
served over two years, now re-enlisted for three years or during the 
war. A large number of the recruits, who had not quite reached 
the requisite time of service, were desirous of re-enlisting, but could 
not do so under the order. The number re-enlisted in each com- 
pany was as follows: Company A, twenty-one; Company B, forty- 
three; Company C, ten; Company D, fifty-one ; Company E, twenty- 
five; Company F, forty-five; Company G, thirty-five. Company H, 
thirty-two; Company I, thirty-six; Company K, thirty-seven; non- 
commissioned staff, one; total, three hundred and thirty-seven. In 
some of the companies, the re-enlistments included every eligible 
man who passed the surgeon's examination. 

On March 16, the veterans were remustered into the service (to 
date from the day previous to enrollment as veterans) by 1st Lieut. 
Martin Van Buren B-ichardson, 4th N. H. Vols., assistant commis- 
sary of musters, who came to the post for the purpose, the men 
each receiving a discharge before being remustered. The non-com- 
missioned officers were reappointed, to date from re-enlistment, new 
warrants being issued by the colonel commanding. 

On March 27, the veterans, under command of Capt. William S. 
Mendenhall, Company D, embarked on the steamer Delaware to 
proceed to Hilton Head, to take passage for New York. Their fur- 
loughs, of thirty days, were to date from the time of arrival at 
West Chester, to be duly issued by their company officers. The 
names of these veterans will be found properly designated upon the 
record rolls. 

As the veterans left the harbor of Fernandina, on the evening of 
the 27th, they were heartily cheered by their comrades, who reluc- 
tantly remained behind. The following officers of the Regiment 
accompanied the veterans upon their return: Ass't Surgeon Morri 
son; Capt. Savage and Lieut. Skiles, Company B; Lieuts. Eachus, 
'.)ompany C; Wainwright, Company F; Yarnall, Company G. 
They remained encamped at Hilton Head about a week, during 
16 



242 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. [April, 

which time they received their pay and bounty. Before starting, 
they were joined by Col. Guss and Adjt. Carruthers, who had each 
received a leave of absence to accompany the veterans home, this 
being the first time Col. Guss had been absent from his command 
since entering the service. His daughter and cousin, Mrs. War- 
ner, who had spent the winter with him, at Fernandina, also re- 
turned home. 

Lieut. Col. Duer went to Hilton Head, at this time, to confer 
with the department commander, in regard to his resignation, ten- 
dered some time previously. 

When leave of absence was granted to Post Adjt. H. W. Car- 
rruthes, 2d Lieut. Henry Kauffman, Jr., Company C, was detailed, 
by order of Col. H. R. Guss, as acting post adjutant and acting ad- 
jutant 97th P. V. until the return of Adjt. Carruthers. 

During March, 1 864, there were no discharges nor any deaths in 
the Regiment. 

Upon the departure of Col. Guss, from Fernandina, on April 2, 
Maj. Pennypacker assumed command of the post, pursuant to the 
following order: 

Head-Quarters U. S. Forces, Fernandina, Fla., April 2, 1864. 
General Orders No. 10: 

The undersigned, being the senior officer at the post, hereby as- 
sumes command of the U. S. forces at Fernandina, Fla. 

All existing orders will continue in force until formally rescinded 
or modified by subsequent orders. 

[Signed] G. Pennypacker, 

Major 97th P. V., Comdt. Post. 

Lieut. Col. Duer returned to Fernandina, about April 5, but did 
not assume command at the post. Having tendered his resigna- 
tion, on account of a chronic complaint, necessitating a change of 
climate, he was in daily expectation of receiving notice of its ac- 
ceptance. This notice being received about the 7th, he was honor- 
ably discharged the service and returned home on the 9th. 

The vacancy occasioned by his resignation was filled by the pro- 
motion of Maj. G. Pennypacker to lieutenant colonel. The senior 
captain, Isaiah Price, Company C, was then promoted to major of 
the Regiment. Some delay occurred in forwarding their commis- 
sions. Those officers, however, entered upon the duties of their ap- 



1864] FERNANDINA. RESIGNATIONS AND PROMOTIONS. 243 

pointment and were subsequently authorized to take rank in their 
respective grades from April 3, 1864. Adjt. Carruthers was also 
promoted to captain, Company C, but owing to the delay referred 
to in receiving commissions, and being subsequently prevented from 
muster, by casualties that delayed the muster of the above-named 
field officers, he continued to perform the duties of adjutant. 

The usual post and garrison duty was continued without particular 
incident to note. 

On April 10, ten enlisted men were discharged, on surgeon's 
certificate of disability. One of the number. Private Jacob H. 
Bavington, Company A, being unable to leave his bed, died, ten 
days later, of hemorrhage of the lungs. Alexander Graham, sub- 
stitute of Company H, died, of heart disease, same date. When the 
Regiment was relieved, at Fernandina, another substitute, Samuel 
Stillwell, Company F, was left at Fort Clinch, under sentence of 
court-martial, having refused to perform duty. He died of con- 
sumption. These men were buried in the cemetery near Old Town. 

On April 13, 2d Lieut. Henry Odiorne, Company D, acting post 
commissary, since February 25, was relieved, by order of Gen. Gill- 
more and directed to report to Capt. and Brev. Lieut. Col. Michael 
R. Morgan, U. S. A., chief commissary of subsistence at Hilton 
Head, by whom he was detailed as acting commissary of subsistence 
of the 2d brigade, 1st division, 10th Corps, upon which duty he 
continued until about August 1. 

On the 18th, the Regiment was paid by Maj. E. J. Porter, pay 
master U. S. Vols., for the two months ending February 29, 1864. 

Previous promotions of line officers had now made vacancies 
for the advancement of a number of worthy non-commissioned ofli- 
cers. Commissions were received for the following, several of whom 
were absent on veteran furlough: 1st Sergt. Abel Grifl3.th, Company 
A, to be 1st lieutenant, vice Peace, resigned; Sergt. Isaac J. Bur- 
ton, same company, to be 2d lieutenant, vice Weber, transferred; 
1st Sergt. Jacob G. Lowry, Company B, to be 2d lieutenant, vice 
Skiles, promoted; 1st Sergt. George W. Duflfee, Company I, to be 
2d lieutenant, vice Knapp, resigned; 1st Lieut. Samuel V. Black, 
Company K, to be captain, vice Wayne, resigned; 1st Sergt. Levi 
L. March, same company, to be 2d lieutenant, vice 2d Lieut. Samuel 
V. Black, promoted to 1st lieutenant. Several of these appoint- 
ments had -been announced some time previously ; the commissions 
being delayed, a second promotion in some instances occurred. 



244 HISTORY OF THE NINETT-SEYENTH REGIMENT. [April, 

On April 22, the steamer Monohansett arrived at Fernandina, 
having on board the 157th N. Y., commanded by Col. P. P. Brown, 
with orders to relieve the 97th P. V. 

Maj. Pennypacker then issued the following order to his com- 
mand: 

Head-Quarters U. S. Forces, Fernandina, Fla., April 22, 1864. 
General Orders No. 13. 

The 97th P. V., now at this post, having been ordered to be re- 
lieved by the 157th N. Y., commanding officers of companies and 
detachments will at once prepare their commands for departure. 
Four (4) days' cooked rations will be provided, two (2) days of 
which will be in haversacks. 

Staff officers, accountable for public property belonging to the 
post, will turn over such property to their respective successors. 
This will be accomplished as expeditiously as possible. 

Officers commanding outposts, provost or picket guards, will care- 
fully turn over all written and oral instructions when relieved; and, 
after loading their baggage upon the wagons sent to them, march 
their commands, if detachments, to their respective cotnpany head- 
quarters; if companies, to the camp of the 97th P. V., at this place. 

Companies A and G will go on board the transport at Sear's 
Dock; the other companies at Fernandina. 

Surplus ordnance stores will be carefully packed, in order that 
they may not be injured by transportation. Baggage, other than 
company and regimental property, will be reduced as much as 
possible; nothing to be taken that is not essentially requisite. 

All officers and enlisted men on special or daily duty at, or who 
are detailed by orders from the head-quarters of this post are here- 
by relieved, and will report as soon as practicable to their imme- 
diate commanders. 

By order of Maj. G. Pennypacker. 

[Signed] Henry Kauffman, Jr., 

2d Lieut. 97th P. V., Post Adj. 

In conformity with the foregoing order, the officers therein en- 
joined promptly fulfilled its requirements and were ready to embark, 
early on the morning of the 23d, within about twenty hours after 
notification; all having their accounts, papers, etc., properly made 
out and the property duly transferred to their respective successors. 



1864] DEPARTURE FROM FERNANDINA. 245 

In addition to the property and responsibilities transferred by the 
provost marshal, there were one hundred and nine prisoners in his 
charge to be turned over to his successor, Capt. J. Clayton Atwater, 
157th N. Y. Vols., with a list of the names, company and regiment 
of each man, with the papers recording the action of the courts- 
martial in each case. 

Mr. John F. Forrest, regimental sutler, remained behind to close 
up his business and dispose of his stock. He did not again rejoin 
the Regiment. After returning home, he engaged in business, in 
Philadelphia, where he continues at the present time. 

Having been duly relieved by the 157th N. Y. Vols., the 97th 
P. V. embarked on the steamer Monohansett, during the afternoon 
of the 23d, and was ready to go to sea at 5 P. M.; but the weather 
being very rough, the steamer small and quite crowded, it was de- 
cided to anchor off Old Fernandina for the night. 

At 6 A. M., on Sunday, the 24th, though still cloudy and rough, 
started to sea, ran out about ten miles, but, the storm being on the 
increase, the steamer was put about to return. A dense fog soon 
settled upon the coast, rendering it impossible to sight the buoys at 
the entrance to the harbor. Fortunately, the steamer ran close on 
the outer one, which enabled the pilot to make the entrance, thus 
narrowly avoiding a perilous time in the fog on a treacherous coast. 

At 5 P. M., the weather being clear, though the sea was still 
quite rough, the steamer was again started for Port Royal. After 
a rough and uncomfortable night at sea, on a small, overcrowded, 
unseaworthy craft, the Regiment arrived safely at Hilton Head, at 
10 A. M., on April 25, where the steamer cast anchor in the home- 
like harbor of Port Royal. 



246 HISTORY OF THE NINETT-SETENTH REGIMENT. [April, 




CHAPTER VIII. 

Army of the James; Capture of City Point; Advance through 
Bermuda Hundred; Eichmond and Petersburg Railroad and 
Telegraph Destroyed; Swift Creek, Drury's Bluff, Fort 
Darling and Foster's Place; April 25 to May 20, 1864. 

PON reporting his arrival at head-quarters, Lieut. 
Col. Penn3"packer received orders to transfer his 
Regiment to the splendid ocean steamer North 
Starj on board of which the 3d N. H., embarked 
at the same time. Being the senior ofBcer in 
rank, Lieut. Col. Pennypacker assumed command 
of the troops on board, having received directions 
to proceed to Fortress Monroe, to join the main 
portion of Gen. Gillmore's command, then ordered 
to Virginia to take part in movements being organized there. The 
steamer started at 10 A. M. on the 26th. While the men were 
being transferred to the North Star, it became evident that some of 
the conscripts and substitutes had obtained access to a supply of 
whisky. Very soon, scenes of wild disorder commenced below, 
among some of the most turbulent of the roughs. Capt. Hawkins, 
officer of the day, went down, and, with the assistance of some of 
the other officers, arrested with considerable difficulty about a dozen 
of the most riotous. These were disarmed, taken forward and 
placed under guard. Efforts were then made to find out the source 
from whence the ardent was being obtained. Meanwhile, one of the 
men under guard dashed wildly from confinement, seized a musket 
and came charging with fixed bayonet toward Lieut. Col. Penny- 
packer and Capts. Hawkins and Price. Capt. Hawkins ordered him 
to halt, at the same time drawing his revolver. Disregarding the 
command, the man still came on. Capt. Hawkins again cried out, 
" Halt ! or you are dead man," which having no effect, he fired just 
as the man was within a few feet of him. He fell heavily to the 



18G4.] TRA.NSPORT NORTH STAR. GLOUCESTER POINT. 247 

deck. The ball had passed directly through him, entering the right 
breast, near the median line, and coming out below the shoulder 
blade. It was thought the wound was mortal. He was placed upon 
a stretcher and sent immediately ashore to the general hospital.* 

It was soon found that whisky was being supplied by the coal 
heavers, who, having secreted several demijohns under the coal, in 
New York, were selling it to the men at fabulous prices — some had 
paid ten dollars per canteen. A coal heaver, whose movements 
awakened suspicion, was captured with five of them stowed in the 
pockets of an old overcoat, while on his way to deliver his contracts. 
He was turned over to the ship's captain for punishment, but that 
officer stating his inability to punish without subjecting himself to 
arrest and civil process, upon returning to New York, the man was 
placed in charge of Capt. Hawkins, oificer of the day, for punish- 
ment He was then placed in irons and secured to a prominent 
position in view of the men and the crew, where he was confined 
during the voyage to Fortress Monroe. This eff'ectually stopped 
the traffic in whisky and its resulting disorder. 

At Fortress Monroe, Va., on the morning of the 28th, Maj. 
Pennypacker landed and proceeded to the head-quarters of Brev. 
Maj. Gen. A. H. Terry, where he received orders to join Gen. But- 
ler's command, then at Gloucester Point, Va., organizing for an ex- 
pedition up the James River. 

Asst. Surgeon George W. Miller, having been discharged, at 
Hilton Head, S. C, on April 25, to accept promotion, left the Regi- 
ment, at Fortress Monroe. He was subsequently appointed to 
the charge of Summit House Hospital, near Philadelphia. Capt. 
W. McConnell, Company E, having resigned, on account of failing 
health, was honorably discharged, on the 25th, and returned to his 
home, at West Chester. Capt. George R. Guss, who had remained 
with the Regiment, at Fernandina, also returned home from Fortress 

* Nothing was heard of bira until about two months afterward, when a man 
came into Capt. Hawkins tent, at the front, and holding out his hand, said, "Well, 
captain, how are you?" Capt. Hawkins replied, "I am well enough, but I don't 
think I know you." He replied, " Why, I am the man you shot on the North 
Star. I was drunk, and expect I deserved it; but I'm all right now and ready for 
duty." The man belonged to Capt. Hawkins' company. His wound, made by a 
small conical ball, had closed without causing any considerable hemorrhage, the 
internal wound being drained while he lay upon his back. There had been but 
little inflammation — his recovery had been rapid and eomplete. 



248 HISTORY OF THE NINETY- SEYENTH REGIMENT. [April, 

Monroe. The following enlisted men, discharged, at Femandina, 
on surgeon's certificate of disability, having accompanied the Regi- 
ment to this point, bade adieu to their comrades and returned home : 
Privates John W. Dowlin and Joseph L. Thomas, Company A; 
Amor N. Chalfant, Company B; Patrick Collins, Thomas Dallas 
and Michael Dunlavy, Company E; Joseph R. Richardson, Com- 
pany F; Corp. Thomas W. Durnall, Company H, and Private 
James LafFerty, Company I. Drum Maj. St. John, being unable 
to march, received a furlough and returned with these discharged 
men, accompanied by Mrs. St. John, who now parted regretfully 
and with emotion from "her boys," as she used to call those for 
whose welfare she had cared so long and so faithfully. 

The North Star reached Gloucester Point on the evening of the 
28th. The troops landed and marched about two miles to encamp 
on the banks of York River, in an old tobacco field. The 55th 
P. v., being encamped near by, furnished the Regiment with hot 
coffee and extended to it a cordial welcome, which was gladly re- 
ceived as coming from old friends. The men were now furnished 
with shelter tents. About thirty thousand troops were encamped 
near together and were being thoroughly refitted for active service. 
The 10th Corps was reorganized. The 9Tth P. V. was placed in 
the 3d brigade, 3d division. The brigade, consisting of the 55th 
and 97th P. V., 4th N. H. and the 8th and 9th Maine, was com- 
manded by Col. Richard White, of the 55th P. V.; the division by 
Brig. Gen. Adelbert Ames and the corps by Maj. Gen. Q. A. Gill- 
more, a commander greatly beloved by the troops of the 10th Corps, 
that served in the campaign upon Morris Island, in 1863. 

Surgeon John R. Everhart, 97th P. V., was appointed acting 
brigade surgeon, and Qr Mr. David Jones, 97th P. V., as acting 
assistant quarter-master, at the head-quarters of the 10th Corps, 
remaining until near the expiration of his term of service. 1st 
Lieut. John McGrath, Company E, 97th P. V., was detailed as 
regiment quarter-master; 2d Lieut. Henry Odiorne, Company D, 
was already detailed as acting commissary of subsistence, on the 
staff of Brig. Gen. Robert S. Foster, commanding 2d brigade, 1st 
division, 10th Corps. He rejoined the Regiment in August. 

Early on the morning of the 30th, there was a general inspection 
of the Regiment by Lieut. Col. Pennypacker, after which there was 
a grand review of all the troops at Gloucester Point, by Maj. Gen. 
B. F. Butler, accompanied by Maj. Gens. Q. A. Gillmore and W. 



1864.] ORGANIZATION OF THE ARMY OF THE JAMES. 249 

F. Smith and Brev. Maj. Gen. A. H. Terry, with their respective 
staif officers. It was an imposing display of about thirty thousand 
men in line, and occupied from 11 A. M. until dark. The march 
in review was in column by division. The men moved with the 
steadiness of veterans and received the admiration of the major 
general commanding. 

On the f31st, the 97th P. V. was inspected by a captain of the 
9th Maine, and mustered for pay by Lieut. Col. Pennypacker. 

On the night of May 2, a severe storm of wind and rain, accom- 
panied by thunder and lightning, swept over the encampment, 
prostrating the slight shelter tents of the men and the officers' 
larger tents, completely drenching everybody. 

While at Gloucester Point, the troops were each day occupied in 
brigade and regimental drill, the companies being deployed in turn 
as skirmishers, and in all respects trained for the active campaign 
upon which they were about to enter. 

On May 4, marching orders were received and the embarkation 
of troops commenced. All was activity in the camps; officers 
hurrying back and forth with orders in preparation for the exodus. 
At 2 P. M., the 97th P. V. broke camp, marched to the landing and 
embarked on the transport Kingston. The 10 th Corps being all 
on board the transports, anchored off Yorktown, Va. * 

The expedition left Yorktown, about 10 P. M., on the 4th, and 
at daybreak, on the 5th, had anchored in Hampton Roads, Va. 
About twenty or thirty sick men were left in the hospital, at 
Fortress Monroe. At 6 A. M., the entire fleet weighed anchor at 
the signal from Gen. Butler's flag steamer, James Powell, and moved 
toward the mouth of James River, where the gunboats and moni- 
tors of the naval force lay ready to proceed up the river. It was a 
grand sight, the starting of over one hundred transports crowded 
with men, moving in procession up the broad river, so long closed 
against all craft bearing the banner that now was proudly floating 
at every masthead of the fleet. 

At Nevifport-Newce,* there was a regiment of colored troops 



♦Called hysome Newport's News, from the first observance of the approach 
of Capt. Newport's supply ship, for the relief of the colony at Jamestown. By 
others, Newport-Newce, a compound of the names of Capt. Newport and Sir 
William Newce, a leading man and a marshal of Virginia, spelled Neuse in the 
earlier histories and later Newce —Lossxug's Civil War, Vol. I., page 500. 




250 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH KEGIMENT. t^^^ 

Stationed. The country on either side of the river, beautiful and 
flourishing under culture, presented none of the ravages of war. 
Men at work in the fields were surprised at the sudden appearance 
of the fleet. In some instances, they hastily unhitched their teams 
and fled, while in others they quietly observed the fleet. Groups of 
watchers were also observed about the houses, mostly women, who 
could be plainly seen by the aid of a field glass, evidently not well 
pleased with the approach of the imposing armament.^ In one 

instance, white hand- 
kerchiefs were waved, 
evincing a loyalty that 
was duly honored by 
the dipping of bunting 
and the waving of hats 
and handkerchiefs (the 
. latter some shades from 
white) by the men on 
tke transports. At 3 

BATTBRT AND CHURCH TOWBK. SITE OF JAMESTOWN. "• ^•■> paSSeU. J amSS- 

town, now only a deso- 
lated ruin. A few crumbling chimneys and the dilapidated tower of 
the ancient church, in which the early settlers worshiped, are all 
that is left to mark the site of the first settlement in the Old 
Dominion. Near it a battery, erected by the enemy, also de- 
serted, already belongs to the past. Such is history ! Its new plow- 
share now turns up this old rehc of the earliest colonial province 
to the view of thousands familiar with its traditions, who will re- 
ceive inspiration from the suggestive lesson of its decay. May not 
these eventful influences, crystallizing into action the story of to- 
day — with its more than a hundred keels of an armed fleet, passing 
up this broad and beautiful river, bearing forty thousand stal- 
wart men to the defence of an imperiled nation — present, in time 
to come, an equally impressive contrast. From this, the children of 
the future city, that may arise above these ruins, based upon truer 
sources of prosperity and permanence, shall draw a moral as they 
reap the fruits, resulting from the eventful struggle of a free enhght- 
ened people in their heroic efforts to preserve the blessings of na- 
tional integrity. Our fathers pledged each other in solemn compact 
to maintain and defend these, by their lives and sacred honor, as the 
last hope and refuge of justice and human equality. Thus, and thus 



1^84'] JAMES RIVER. CAPTURE OF CITY POINT. 251 

only, shall we perpetuate the untold blessings of so glorious an in- 
heritance, by wresting it from the grasp of those who would spread 
over all the domain of our beautiful land the mildew and curse that 
have wrought the ruin and desolation of deserted Jamestown. 

At 6 P. M., the rear portion of the fleet had reached Harrison's 
Landing. The gunboats had advanced to City Point, Va., followed 
by a few of the transports. At this point. Gen. Butler's steamer, 
James Powell, returned to order forward some of the transports 
with troops to occupy City Point, which had been captured by the 
naval fleet throwing a few shell, which caused the rebels to hurry 
away. Some of the vessels ran up to the mouth of the Appomat- 
tox, to anchor for the night, the Kingston, with the 97th P. V., 
being of the number. The larger portion anchored off City Point, 
Gen. Heckman's brigade of Gen. Weitzel's division of the 18th 
Corps landed during the night, and, after driving the rebel pickets, 
bivouacked near the landing. 

Early on the morning of the 6th, the 10th Corps and the re- 
mainder of 18th Corps disembarked at Bermuda Hundred Landing, 
on the south side of James River, three miles above the mouth of 
the Appomattox. The march inland was commenced immediately, 
the men having barely time to make coffee before starting. The 
force being divided into three columns, advanced by three routes, 
the right column having its right flank covered by the James River; 
its left joined the centre column, which moved with its right flank 
joining the right column and its left flank meeting the left column, 
which joined its right with the centre column and extended its left 
flank to the Appomattox. Gen. Heckman's brigade being on the 
extreme left, advanced toward Point of Rocks, and after some skir- 
mishing, during a three hours' march, halted at a rebel signal sta- 
tion, capturing the new rebel signal code, equipments, etc. 

It was a very warm, sultry morning. The men soon began to 
throw away their extra clothing, blankets, knapsacks, etc., the road 
being strewn thickly with articles of clothing abandoned by the 
men. Orders had been issued, requiring the men to be provided 
with an extra pair of new shoes for the march. These were also 
thrown away. It was estimated that nearly twenty thousand pairs 
were lost. Wagon loads of shoes and clothing were seen later in 
the day, having been picked up by the inhabitants who remained 
and seemed loyal. After marching about three miles, the 3d division 
of the 10th Corps, which had been advancing with the centre column, 



252 



HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. 



[May, 



was ordered to return about a mile, to make a detour by a lateral 
road toward the left. This occasioned a very tiresome and difficult 
march, having to explore and skirmish the way as the advance was 
made. The men were very much exhausted by fatigue and the 
heat. At 12 o'clock, a halt was ordered; the men were allowed to 
rest in the woods and have coffee made, the first partaken of on 
that day by most of the men. 

After the march was resumed, about 3 P. M., Gen. Butler rode 
past and was heartily cheered as he passed toward the front. The 
5th N. Y. Art'y also passed the corps while halted, about 4 P. M., 
and occupied the high ground at Foster's Plantation, which position 
was subsequently intrenched. 

At about 5 P. M., there was some musketry firing and can- 
nonading heard on the left, toward the Appomattox. This action 
was between Gen Heckman's brigade and the enemy and lasted 
about an hour, in which his forces drove the rebels twice, sustaining 
a loss of about eight killed and forty wounded. His advance was 
a reconnoisance to ascertain the position and strength of the enemy 
on the left, and was conducted with celerity and success. 







LINE OP DEFENCE AT BERMUDA HUNDRED. 



At sunset, the three columns, having advanced about eight miles 
from the landing, bivouacked for the night upon a continuous line, 
which was subsequently intrenched and became the defensive fi-ont 
of Gen. Butler's command. The line extended from the James 



1864] 



ADVANCE THROUGH BERMUDA HUNDRED. 



253 



Piver on the right, at a point opposite to Dutch Gap, subsequently 
widely known as Dutch Gap Canal, across to the swamp of the 
Appomattox!, on the left, Foster's Plantation being the centre of the 
line. The 3d brigade was moved forward and occupied a position 
on the right of the road, near the buildings at Foster's, in a beau- 
tiful clover lot, which afforded excellent beds for the tired men. 
Orders were issued to obstruct the road and adjacent fields, by re- 
moving the fences and erecting barriers against an advance of 
cavalry. While engaged in this work, a woman came out of the 
house, at Foster's, and hurriedly dug up an earthen flower-pot from 
near a post which some of the 97th P. V. were about to remove. 
They did not disturb her movements, but allowed her to retire 
with her treasure concealed under her apron. When the work of 
obstructing the approaches was finished, the men partook heartily 
of their coffee and hard tack, then lay down to sleep, behind the 
line of arms in stack and remained undisturbed through the night. 




btjtleb's head-quaktbes near dutch gap. 



Gen. Butler established his head-quarters toward the right of the 
line, in a farm house, about a mile from the James River, opposite 
to Dutch Gap. 

On the 7th, Companies C and F, detailed for picket, were sta- 
tioned in the wood, on the left, opposite to Foster's, about a quarter 
of a mile from the camp. 

A force of three brigades, from the 10th Corps, and two from the 
18th, commanded by Brig. Gen. W. H. T. Brooks, of 1st division, 
10th Corps, moved out toward the Richmond and Petersburg Rail- 
road and met the enemy, under Gen. D. H. Hill, at Port Walthall 
Junction, where a brisk engagement ensued. Gen. Brooks' forces 
succeeded in driving Hill beyond the Walthall branch of the rail 



254 HISTORY OF THE NINETT-SEVENTH REGIMENT. TMay, 

road, destroying a mile of the road, a railroad bridge and cutting 
the telegraph wires. There was a large number killed and wounded 
on both sides. The movement for the purpose of reconnoitering — 
and the force being unprepared to hold the position — retired toward 
evening, bearing off their wounded. The dead were buried on the 
field. 

During this time, the men remaining at Foster's Plantation were 
engaged in throwing up intrenchments, cutting trees for chevaux- 
derfrise^ and slashing the timber to obstruct the advance of the 
enemy through the woods. Work on the entire line, from river to 
river, a distance of near six miles, was rapidly pushed to comple- 
tion. 

On the 8th, there was some firing upon the picket line. Some 
rebel cavalry were seen, four saddles being emptied by the pickets. 
Companies C and F of the 97th P. V. were relieved from picket, 
at 8.30 P. M., by two companies of the 112th N. Y. 

Captain Isaac Waterbury, Company G, 55th P. V., died suddenly 
on the 8th, in the camp of that regiment. He was buried, on the 
11th, with military honors, at Foster's Plantation. 

Early, on the morning of the 9th, Gen. Butler, with the 10th and 
18th Corps, started from camp and marched about four miles, to 
intercept the Richmond and Petersburg Railroad, at a point mid- 
way between those places. ^ikg^'Gen. "yV. F. Smith, commanding 
the 18th, moved on the right, and Bsig. Gen. Q. A. Gillmore, com- 
manding the 10th, on the left. When arrived at Chester Heights, 
commanding the road, the troops and artillery took position. The 
97th P. V. was then ordered to advance. Lieut. Col. Pennypacker 
led his Regiment, at double quick, down the descending slope, 
reaching the railroad without encountering the enemy, supposed to 
occupy a position behind the embankment of the road. He then 
sent two companies to the right of the road, under command of 
Capt. Guss, Company A, to reconnoitre. A portion of the force 
was deployed as skirmishers, to guard the flank of the Regiment 
while employed in tearing up the rails. The telegraph wires were 
cut, by Lieut. Col. Pennypacker, after they had been detached 
from the poles by his men. The skirmishes soon came in sight of 
rebel cavalry scouts, who retired beyond the reach of fire, but con- 
tinued to watch the proceedings as closely as possible. Tn tearing 
up the road, the men were marched along the track, halted and 
fronted; then laying their arms behind the line, the ends of the 




1864.] ACTION AT SWIFT CREEK. 255 

cross-ties were lifted and the roadway overturned 
the length of the Regiment; then moving another 
length of the Regiment, continued the overturning 
in like manner. A detail of men, with the pio- 
neers, followed, loosed the ties from the rails, piled 
them together and set fire to them, consuming the 
former and , rendering the latter useless, being 
twisted out of shape by the heat. Some miles of 
the road were thus destroyed. Reaching the point 
where the engagement on the 7th had occurred, ""• "''™ ^ "^''-^^^ 
two or three dead Union soldiers found there were buried by our 
men. One wounded man was also found. The woods being on fire 
near him, unable to move, he would soon have perished. He had 
lain two days where he had fallen, without food or water. His 
parched lips were cooled from the canteens, and, after his suffer- 
ings were relieved as far as possible, he was sent to the hospital, 
where he finally recovered. 

When the 97th P. V. moved forward upon the railroad, a force, 
under command of Brig. Gen. John W. Turner, 2d division, 10th 
Corps, had marched upon the Richmond and Petersburg turnpike, 
toward the latter place, crossing the railroad at Port Walthall 
Junction, near the point reached by Gen. Brooks' force, on the 7th. 
Gen. Turner's force continued to advance toward Petersburg. An- 
other force, commanded by Brig. Gen. A. H. Terry (now brevet 
major general, U. S. A.), had advanced on the right, toward Rich- 
mond, driving a small force of the enemy in that direction. 

Having completed the destruction of the railroad to the point in- 
dicated, Lieut. Col. Pennypacker, with his force, followed the ad- 
vance toward Petersburg, on the turnpike. He came up with the 
division just as it became engaged with the enemy at Swift Creek, 
within a few miles of Petersburg, where the advance met the 
enemy's pickets and drove them in. The rebels, however, being in 
considerable force, charged upon the skirmish line and drove it back 
through a field into a wood near the turnpike, where our forces were 
prepared to meet the charge. Repeated volleys of musketry were 
discharged into the ranks of the rebels, driving them back, killing 
and wounding many. The rebel artillery shelled the position in 
the wood vigorously and a brisk fire of musketry Avas kept up from 
their lines. 

The 97th P. V. was immediately ordered to the front, marched 



256 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. f^ay, 

through the woods under a severe fire, and occupied the front line 
of battle. As it moved up to its position, the artillery, which had 
advanced too closely to the enemy to be available or safe from cap- 
ture, came thundering down the turnpike to a more advantageous 
position. It seemed like the signal of a rout; but the men marched 
steadily forward, following their intrepid young commander. The 
artillery, after gaining a favorable position, reopened fire upon the 
rebel lines, causing the forces in front of our position to retire; 
silencing also the enemy's field pieces. As the Kegiment was ad- 
vancing through the woods, Sergt. Maj. Samuel W. Hawley, who 
was on the left, was struck in the head by a fragment of shell and 
fell. It was then thought he was killed ; he was only stunned and 
but slightly cut by the shell ; he very soon resumed duty. After the 
enemy's fire had ceased, the 97th P. V. and 55th P. V. were moved 
to the right through the woods into an old cotton field grown over 
with young pines. The rebel forces were plainly seen beyond. 
Here those regiments halted in line, and were ordered to lie down 
to keep out of view of the enemy. They remained in that position 
until near sunset. The field had been occupied by rebels only a few 
hours before. Their haversacks had been left lying upon the ground 
in great numbers, in line, as though the force had been hastily 
ordered to move. They contained a few slices of cold pork and corn 
cakes, hard and meagre fare compared with the rations of our men. 
About sunset, the 55th P. V. and 97th P. V. were moved to the 
rear of the right, marching half a mile through dense woods, and 
came upon a road by which the enemy from the direction of Peters- 
burg by a detour might reach our right flank and rear. The men 
were here halted, and in line of battle occupied this road during 
the night, sleeping upon their arms by the roadside. 

A regiment, armed with the old Belgian rifles, had advanced, just 
before dusk, to a position somewhat exposed, presenting a tempta- 
tion to the enemy of an easy capture during the night. Soon after 
dark, this regiment was withdrawn, and another, armed with Spen- 
cer rifles or carbines, took its place. At about 10 P. M., a sudden 
and incessant discharge of musketry indicated a general engagement. 
The fire continued ten or fifteen minutes ; then aU was quiet again. 
It was soon ascertained that the noise was occasioned by the rebels 
attempting to surprise and capture that regiment at the front, with 
its old Belgian rifles, but had caught instead si right smart Tartar, in 
the shape of a regiment with new Spencer repeaters, causing them 



1854.] FORCED MARCH TO SUPPORT GENERAL TEREt's ADVANCE. 257 

to retreat with heavy loss in killed and wounded. There was no 
other disturbance during the night. When daylight broke upon us, 
the men began to awake, impelled by hunger and thirst, to seek for 
food and water. There was no stream to be found near, but recent 
rains had left the gutters and ruts along the road filled with water. 
The ground being a heavy clay soil, retained it for want of drainage. 
To this supply the men, through necessity, had recourse. Where 
undisturbed, the water was clear and, though warm, was refreshing 
to parched lips, as the writer can testify, having slaked his thirst 
from a clear little pool that filled the pit of a horse track in the 
clay of the road-bed. 

■Some of the men made circuitous journeys in the vicinity and 
found means of filling canteens with good water and obtained some 
corn cakes from the inhabitants; others, more fortunate, secured 
some large bars of prepared navy tobacco, and, upon their return, 
drove a brisk trade in that article with less enterprising comrades. 

Preparations were made for advancing toward Petersburg, early 
on the morning of the 10th, the enemy having apparently with- 
drawn toward that place. When about to move, intelligence was 
received that Gen. Terry's division, advancing toward Richmond, 
was heavily engaged. Gen. Lee having sent a large force to oppose 
his advance. 

Gen. Ames detached the 1st brigade from his division and ordered 
it to march rapidly to Gen. Terry's support. The 97th P. V., 
being on the right of the brigade, moved off first, upon the Rich- 
mond and Petersburg turnpike, and was pushed rapidly along that 
road, at double quick, on all declining and level grades, and as 
fast as possible over the hills, leaving the rest of the brigade to 
follow. For a time, the men kept well together; but soon the 
excessive heat, dust and rapid march became more than human en- 
durance . could stand. The men began to drop by the way, utterly 
overcome. Many, falling helpless in the road, from sunstroke, 
were carried, by their comrades, into the shade at the roadside. 

After a forced march of seven miles, a portion of the Regiment 
reached Gen. Terry's position, when it was found that his forces had 
maintained their ground against the fierce assault of the enemy, 
and compelled the advancing foe to retire. 

The weary and exhausted men of the Regiment, who had kept 
up on the march, were halted in a shady spot by the roadside to 
rest until the remainder of the brigade came up. It was rather 
17 



258 HISTORY OF THE NIJSTETT-SEVENTH REGIMENT. [May, 

aggravating, however, for them to witness the cool and leisurely 
march of the other regiments, an hour later, filing past. 

Though the enemy had been repulsed by Gen. Terry's forces, fur- 
ther advance was deemed unadvisable. The brigade was ordered to 
return to camp, at Foster's Place, which was reached at sunset, 
having marched, in the two days, about twenty-three miles, in ad- 
dition to the work of tearing up the railroad and taking part in 
the action at Swift Creek. 

On May 8, 1st Lieut. John McGrath, Company E, acting quarter- 
master, was detailed, by orders from department head-quarters, on 
detached service, in the commissary department, at Bermuda Hun- 
dred Landing. 2d Lieut. H. Kauffman, Jr., Company C, acting 
adjutant, was then detailed as regimental quarter-master, of the 
97th P. v., and 1st Lieut. John Wainwright, Company F, as acting 
adjutant. 

On the 11th, several companies of the Regiment were detailed for 
work upon the line of intrenchments at Foster's Place, At 6 P. M., 
Company C was detailed for picket, with Maj. Price in charge of 
the picket force, marched from camp during a heavy rain, and occu- 
pied the position in the line the Regiment had held when first de- 
tailed at this place, the 112th N. Y. being on the right. 

Owing to the active movements which commenced on the follow- 
ing day, Company C remained on duty at this point without being 
relieved for nearly a week, a part of the men being allowed to rest 
while the remainder kept watch, the reserve occupying shelter tents. 
Several severe thunder storms occurred, during one of which a tree 
was struck within thirty feet of the shelter where twenty men, with 
their muskets, were lying. The electricity flashed along the bright 
steel barrels and bayonets of the loaded pieces, almost blinding the 
men. The sulphurous smell pervaded the air to an almost stifling 
extent, but no one was stunned or in the least injured. The 
proximity of the electric current was, however, not enjoyed, the 
men preferring to risk the more moderate fire of artillery and mus- 
ketry to the thunderbolts of the elements. 

On the morning of the 12th, apprehending a night attack from 
the rebels, orders were issued for all the troops in the camp, inside 
the intrenchments, to be under arms and in the line of earthworks 
from 2 A. M. to daylight, until further orders. 

On that day. Gen. Butler again made an advance toward Rich- 
mond, leaving a small force inside the intrenchments, with Col. 



1864.1 RETURN OF COLONEL GUSS AND THE VETERANS. 259 

Joshua B. Howell, of the 85th P. V., in command. Orders were 
issued to the forces then occupying the picket lines outside the in- 
trenchments to hold the line until tliey should be relieved, after the 
return of the forces from the front. Company C, of the 97th P. V., 
being on picket, remained upon that duty in consequence of this 
order. The remaining companies of the Regiment, under command 
of Lieut. Col. Pennypacker, marched with Butler's advance. 

Col. Guss, Adjt; Carruthers and the veterans reached Bermuda 
Hundred Landing, on their return, on the afternoon of the 12th. 

Leaving the veterans in charge of Capt. Mendenhall, Col. Guss 
proceeded to the front and reported his arrival to Gen. GiUmore, 
and was by him assigned to the command of the 1st brigade, 3d 
division, 10th Corps. This announcement was highly satisfactory 
to the entire command. Adjt. Carruthers was appointed acting as- 
sistant adjutant general of the brigade. 1st Lieut. Skiles, Company 
B, now relieved Lieut. Wainwright as acting regimental adjutant. 

The following account of the movements of the veterans and 
their return is furnished by Capt. Mendenhall, from his notes of 
the trip: The detachment left Fernandina, at sunset, on February 
27, on the steamer Delaware, amid the cheers and greeting of their 
comrades left behind. Beached Hilton Head at 11 A. M., on the 
28th, and encamped to await transportation. 

On April 2, Col. Guss and family, Avith Adjt. Carruthers, joined 
the detachment returning home. 

At 10 P. M., on the 3d, sailed on the steamer Arago, arriving 
in New York at 11 P. M. on the 7th 

Debarked, on the 8th, and marched to Park Barracks for break- 
fast. Crossed the Jersey City ferry, at 10 A. M., and took the train 
for Philadelphia. Being delayed by the way, it was 9 P. M. when 
the command reached the Cooper Shop Refreshment Saloon, where 
a bountiful supper was provided. At 10 P. M., the march was 
resumed. At the depot of the West Chester and Philadelphia Rail- 
road, cars were found ready and many friends present to give the 
boys welcome. Left Philadelphia by the 11.30 train and reached 
"West Chester at 1 A. M. on Saturday, the 9th. Of course, the 
inhabitants were all asleep. 

It was the intention of the citizens to have given the veterans a 
public reception upon their arrival, expected the previous evening. 
Arrangements had been made at a meeting, convened in the Court 
House, and a reception committee appointed, with Capt. A¥illiam 



260 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. ^'^^y- 

Apple as chief marshal. The cadets of Col. Hyatt's and Prof W, 
F. Wyers' military academies were in line, at the depot, accom- 
panied by a large concourse of citizens, who waited patiently until 
10 P. M. and then dispersed. 

On the following morning, a salute was fired in front of the Court 
House, by the cadets of Col. Hyatt's school, bells were rung and 
all available bunting flung to the breeze in honor of the returning 
veterans, who were assembled in the Court House, at 10 o'clock, 
and welcomed to their homes, in an eloquent and appropriate ad- 
dress, by the Rev. William E. Moore, pastor of the Presbyterian 
Church. Col. Guss, being loudly called for, came forward and made 
some well-timed remarks, which were received with enthusiastic ap- 
plause. Adjt. Carruthers was then called for, who made a short 
and pithy speech, which was also well received. The furloughs 
were then issued to the veterans, which released them until May 9, 
at which time they were required to report at the Green Tree 
Hotel, West Chester. 

They availed themselves gladly of the release from military dis- 
cipline, and went their several ways rejoicing, to meet the wel- 
come that awaited them in their homes. 

On May 9, Capt. Mendenhall reported to Col. Guss, at West 
Chester, for orders. The furloughed men mostly returned during 
the day. One of the number, Levi B. Walker, Company K, had 
died, of pleurisy, at his home, on April 28. There were several 
absentees, some of whom joined the detachment by the way. 

Left West Chester at 6 A. M., on the 10th, for Philadelphia and 
Baltimore. The command took supper at the Volunteer Refresh- 
ment Saloon, and lodged in barracks at Baltimore. 

At 5 P. M., on the 11th, took passage on steamer Adelaide, for 
Fortress Monroe. Reached there at 8 A. M., on the 12th, and left 
at 11 A. M. for City Point, Va. Arrived at 5 P. M. and encamped. 
The roll being called, two hundred and seventy-seven were present. 
Absent, fifty-nine. The absentees mostly rejoined within a few 
days; having been delayed by sickness and unavoidable circum- 
stances, they were excused and reported present on time. A few 
did not return until arrested as deserters. Two of Company E, two 
of Company F, one of Company I and one of Company K never re- 
joined the Regiment. 

On the 13th, Capt. Mendenhall made application for the arms ot 
the command. These had been boxed and shipped, at Fernandina, 



1864.] Tgg veterans' ARRIVAL AT FOSTER'S PLACE. 261 

and forwarded to Bermuda Hundred. Two days elapsed before 
they arrived at City Point. 

On the 16th, the arms and forty rounds of ammunition were dis- 
tributed to the detachment. There were now two hundred and 
eighty-five men present. The command marched to the front on 
the same day. Heavy firing was plainly heard from the fighting at 
Drury's Bluff and Fort Darling. The veteran detachment reached 
the camp of the Regiment, at Foster's Place, at 6 P. M. The 
Eegiment, being then at the front, under command of Lieut. Col. 
Pennypacker, returned in the night. Capt. Mendenhall reported 
his arrival at head-quarters on the morning of the 17th, the veterans 
having been absent forty-seven days. 

Five volunteer recruits had joined the detachment while home. 
Four were assigned to Company F and one to Company K. 

Little black June also returned with the veterans, entirely satis- 
fied with his experience of northern life, being peculiarly southern 
in his proclivities. He remained an independent attache of the 
Regiment until the final muster out. In originality of character 
and comicality he was a feature, in every movement, and upon the 
march, at a review or inspection, irrepressible and ever on hand when 
least expected; a wily and wary, observer of all worth noticing; 
his peculiar voice and ringing laugh announcing his presence and 
delight with as little ceremony as a shell dropped from the enemy's 
batteries at an unexpected moment. His advent occurred early in 
1862, at Hilton Head, where he turned up as a contraband waif, 
drifting with the vast tide of escaping bondmen to our camps as to 
their natural protectors. His singular appearance, ludicrous wit 
and natural smartness won favor for him in Capt. Mcllvaine's ap- 
preciation. He thenceforth became his servant and the custodian 
of the captain's quarters. Rendering whatever improbable amount 
of service he might be capable of, his humor and his voice were the 
clear profit of the captain's investment, in which the entire Regi- 
ment fully participated, through June's most laudable and persistent 
efforts to make himself manifest. All of these invaluable qualities 
and qualifications had been missing from the ordinary issue of 
rations, since May, 1863, when June was tempted, after Capt. Mc- 
llvaine's return, by Lieut. Smedley, Coriipany C, who had received 
his discharge, to try his fortune in the north. His experiences in 
Pennsylvania were varied and of sufiicient interest to form a 
volume if properly compiled. The saddest of these may here suffice 



262 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. ^^y- 

to indicate the cause of his embracing the first favorable oppor- 
tunity of returning to his old friends in the 97th P. V. The cherry 
trees, being in full bearing, invited his discriminating palate to par- 
take of the luscious fruit that grew upon the topmost boughs. 
June trusted his frail weight to the limbs whose treacherous frailty, 
exceeding his own, caused his downfall and a broken arm. June 
" vowed he would go back to Caroliny, where the trees had better 
sense than to break down with a poor little darky like him." 

Commissions, promoting the following officers, were now received, 
viz.: 2d Lieut. George A. Lemaistre, Company H, to be captain, vice 
Mcllvaine, resigned; Sergt. George H. Durnall, same company, to 
be 1st lieutenant, vice Baldwin, resigned; Sergt. Lewis H. Watkins, 
same company, to be 2d lieutenant, vice Lemaistre, promoted; 2d 
Lieut. George W. Duffee, Company I, to be 1st lieutenant, vice 
Sketchley Morton, Jr., deceased; Sergt. William H. H. Gibson, 
same company, to be 2d lieutenant, vice Duffee, promoted. 

The 10th Corps, under Gen. Gillmore, had marched on the 12th 
toward Chester Station, on the Richmond and Petersburg Railroad, 
while the 18tli Corps moved on the right along the river bank 
toward Drury's Bluff and Fort Darling, situated nine miles below 
Richmond. Crossing the railroad, the 10th Corps advanced toward 
Chesterfield Court House; then, diverging to the right, joined the 
•18th Corps, against which it was evident the enemy were massing 
their troops. Continuing to advance, on the evening of the 13th, an 
outer line of intrenchments was encountered, extending from the 
railroad to the river. 

On the morning of the 14th, Gen Butler's advance encountered 
the enemy at Proctor's Creek, Drury's Bluff and near Fort Darling. 
They were found strongly intrenched in a double line of works 
behind Proctor's Creek. Gen. Gillmore led the lOth Corps against 
the enemy and succeeded in capturing their advance lines near 
Drury's Bluff, and by a brilliant dash carried the left of their main 
line, flanking the enemy's position and securing a large number of 
prisoners after a stubborn resistance in which his own loss was quite 
severe. 

The 97th P. V., under command of Lieut. Col. Pennypacker, par- 
ticipated in the engagement and held the extreme left of the line. 
After the action on the 14th, the 97th P. V. was detached as guard 
to Gen. Butler's head-quarters, near the Richmond and Petersburg 
turnpike, and as a picket force upon the left flank of the position. 



1864.] 



proctor's creek, drury's bluff and fort darling. 263 



It was thus engaged during the 15th without particular occurrence 
to note. 

Beauregard was evidently closely observing these movements, ap- 
parently without manifesting any disposition to depart from a de- 
fensive line of operations. Gen. Butler's line now covered his entire 
front south of the James. Only a small cavalry force, however, oc- 
cupied the right between the river and the right flank of the in- 
fantry, which was also somewhat protected by the naval force in the 
river. 




FORT DARLIKG. 

On the morning of the 16th, the enemy, having concentrated their 
forces on the south side of Richmond, made a furious assault upon 
the right of Gen. Butler's line, at about 3.30 A. M., advancing 
under cover of the dense undergrowth, favored by the darkness and 
dense fog which continued during the morning, rendering it impos- 
sible to distinguish the position of either line beyond a few yards. 
The columns of the enemy swept through the lines on the right and 
became mingled with the forces in the rear lines in promiscuous and 
indiscriminate conflict ; each force maintaining its steady fire with- 
out any well-defined line of battle. The darkness and fog, even 
after daylight, prevented any comprehensive knowledge of the posi- 
tion of either army. During this period of the action, prisoners were 
captured and recaptured, and many permanently secured by each side. 



264: HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. f^^y- 

Several hours' hard fighting and terrible loss on both sides, with al- 
ternate success and repulse ensued, the enemy, being in much supe- 
rior force, had at the outset turned the right flank by the impetuous 
force of their massed columns of infantry. Gen. Butler's forces were, 
however, still able to prevent their taking advantage of the first 
success by the same causes which enabled the enemy to penetrate 
our lines. The fog and darkness served to obstruct their accuracy of 
observation ; otherwise, the now broken lines of Gen. Butler's com- 
mand would have then been utterly routed by the largely superior 
force of the enemy; but, in the darkness and confusion, numbers 
became an element of weakness, causing their losses to be most 
severe, and thwarted their object of driving Gen. Butler's forces 
from the field. When the darkness and fog had passed, the op- 
posing forces were found almost face to face. The enemy had 
rapidly rearranged their lines, being more familiar with the ground, 
and immediately renewed the assault with persistent determination 
to accomplish their object. Their first assault was upon the 18th 
Corps, commanded by Gen. W. F. Smith. In the darkness, that offi- 
cer had caused to be stretched across his front a quantity of telegraph 
wire, which had been secured, fastening it to the stumps and trees 
about half knee-high. When the enemy rushed forward in a charge 
they pitched headlong over the wire and over each other, whUe the 
fire of Gen. Smith's troops was so effective as to repulse the attack 
with fearful loss. 

Gen. Weitzel's division, occupying the breastwork at Drury's 
Blufi", captured on the 14th, was assaulted three times without suc- 
cess. The enemy then turned their attention to the 10th Corps, 
massed their forces in front of Gen. Gillmore's position and made 
three successive attempts to force him from it, being repulsed at 
every point by the unflinching steadfastness of Gillmore's veterans, 
who, having learned the advantage of staying in their lines and 
forgotten how to retreat, kept up such a continuous fire that the 
enemy could not endure it. They then renewed their attack on the 
18th Corps, when Gen. Gillmore sent Turner's division to its sup- 
port, and they were again repulsed with severe loss. 

At 2.30 P. M. the enemy ceased to press upon our front, and the 
action terminated, the enemy falling back to their line of intrench- 
ments, leaving a large number of killed and wounded upon the 
field. The following extract from an account of the action, by Mr. 
Oscar G. Sawyer, correspondent of the 10th Corps, gives the move- 



1864.1 proctor's creek, DKURT'S BLUFF AND FORT DARLING. 265 

ments that occurred after the fog and darkness clearing, afforded 
opportunity for observation. 

"* * * They first hurled their column upon Turner's division, 
which held the right of the 10th Corps, joining the 18th Corps. They formed 
in a beautiful manner and moved steadily on Barton's brigade, on the right of 
Turner's division, advancing as if upon parade and not firing a single shot. Wait- 
ing until they had reached a good distance for effective range, the brigade poured 
into their lines such a terrific fire that the line melted away and the thinned and 
broken ranlis, after vainly endeavoring to advance against the storm of bullets, 
fled, with terrible loss, to the woods in their rear. The volleys were as continu- 
ous and heavy as the musketry of a brigade could well be and such as no living 
beings could stand against. The rebels were scattered like chaff and broke for 
the woods in a disorganized mass. After great exertion, the line of attack was 
again formed and again a brigade advanced in splendid style against our line. 
Again did they receive the terrible fire and pushed steadily on until a fourth of 
them lay killed and wounded on the field, when they broke and rushed quickly 
to the cover of the woods. Our boys gave them hearty cheers and sent a volley 
after them. Being twice bloodily repulsed at this point, they moved further to 
our left and hurled a column upon Col. Hawley's brigade of Gen. Terry's divi- 
sion. They came up in the same steady and confident manner, but were received 
with a more rapid and equally as deadly a fire as that they were treated to by 
Turner's men. The Spencer repeating rifles, in the hands of the Yth Conn., and 
the Springfield rifles of the rest of the brigade, delivered a fire so hot and wither- 
ing that the rebels could not withstand it, but broke and ran for the woods, ac- 
celerated in their flight by the music of the Spencer bullets about them. They 
were determined, however, to break our line and force it from its position, cost 
what it would. They again formed and were strengthened by reinforcements. 
They charged again, and after ten minutes' hot work they were disastrously re- 
pulsed and driven back at all points. That ended any serious effort on their part 
to force the position of the 10th Corps. Leaving their dead and wounded, to 
the number of a thousand, on the field before our line, they again moved upon 
Gen. Smith's front and attacked his left. Gen. Gillmore immediately ordered Gen. 
Turner to attack the enemy on their flank and Gen. Terry to support him. Gen. 
Turner's attack was hardly commenced before Gen. Gillmore was ordered, by 
Gen. Butler, to retire and strengthen Gen. Smith's corps by forming in his rear. 
Our troops fell back slowly and in order, repulsing every effort of the rebels to 
quicken their movement and making a stand at every favorable position until 
the enemy ceased to follow and fell back to their first line of intrenchments. 
Gen. Gillmore then drew off his corps and formed in support of Gen. Smith. 
The fighting, which had been going on with more or less violence along the 
entire line, ceased at half past two P. M. and preparations were made to draw 
off our forces from the field and return to our intrenchments. The artillery was 
sent to the rear, except a section to cover the rear guard. The ambulances, 
loaded with wounded, and the supply trains were dispatched to the rear, and 
finally the entire army fell back, the enemy not pursuing. Thus ended this rebel 
attack on our lines. 

"* * * Gen. Beauregard commanded in person. Gens. Hoke and 



266 HISTOET OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. 1^*^' 

Ransom commanding divisions. The brigade of the latter, arrived the previous 
night and added considerably to Beauregard's force. The rebels fought with 
more than their usual dash and bravery, as they seemed determined to crush our 
army as the only way to save Richmond. They met with a bloody failure. Their 
losses in killed and wounded exceeded ours, although the balance of prisoners 
was probably slightly in their favor. Our men fought splendidly, and the Tenth 
Corps has established a reputation for fighting qualities that will equal that of 
any in the army. It is well disciplined, brave and efficient, and is an honor to 
the department. Maj. Gen. Gillmore commanded the left throughout and dis- 
played as high qualities in the field, in the handling of a corps, as he had as an 
engineer officer. He was assisted by Brig. Gen. Robert S. Poster, chief of staff, 
whose energy, zeal and abilities as a commander combine to make him an in- 
valuable officer to any commander, whether as chief of staflf or in the command 
of a bi'igade or division. No little of our success is due to his energy and skill 
Gens. Terry, Ames and Turner each performed their respective parts to the 
complete satisfaction of all. No corps has better division commanders. Where 
all the brigade commanders did so well, it would be unjust to discriminate be- 
tween them. They have all the desirable qualities found in good soldiers. 

" * * * There were many parallels between this battle and the 
battle of Inkerman, in the Crimea The hour, for instance, at which the attack 
was made, the fog, the surprise, the overwhelming numbers of the assailants, 
the sturdy resistance they encountered, the reinforcement of the besiegers, and 
the final repulse of the enemy. Then there were bayonet charges, hand-to-hand 
encounters and deeds of heroism around which obscurity will forever fold her 
opaque mantle." 

Gen. Butler's loss was about three thousand; that of the enemy 
much greater. Gen. Heckman and Col. Richard White, of the 
55th P. v., were among the captured. The latter had just been 
relieved in the command of the 3d brigade, 3d division, 10th Corps, 
by Col. Guss. 

In these actions. Col. Guss' brigade lost five hundred and fifty- 
nine men. Five men of the 97th P. V. were taken prisoners and 
two, Privates Owen Finnegan and William Wright, both of Com- 
pany H, were wounded, the former in the head and the latter in the 
foot. It was fortunate to have escaped with so small a number of 
casualties, as the Regiment was in the advance and under fire 
during the actions of the 14th and 16th. 

Gen. Butler's forces having successfully resisted the impetuous 
endeavors of Beauregard to destroy his army, during thirteen 
hours of hotly-contested conflict;, were too much shattered either to 
advance against the enemy he had foiled or to risk a renewal of the 
contest before recuperating his command. He, therefore, deter- 
mined to withdraw to his intrenchments ; having also ascertained, 



186t.] ADVANCE ON "WIEK BOTTOM CHURCH ROAD. 267 

soon after the commencement of the action, that Beauregard had 
dispatched a heavy force to attack his rear and left flank, from the 
direction of the Petersburg Railroad, and which was already ad- 
vancing on the Wier Bottom Church Road. At this time (6 A. M. 
on the 16th), the 97th P. V. was on duty at the head-quarters of 
Gen. Butler, and had just been ordered to a point on the Richmond 
turnpike to receive rations, and was distributing the same, when, at 
the hour above named, Lieut. Col. Pennypacker received orders 
from Gen. Butler to get the Regiment in line at once and march 
as rapidly as possible, along the Wier Bottom Church Road, to join 
the 13th Ind. and Battery E, 3d U. S. Art'y, and together obstruct 
the advance of the enemy and hold him in check until the result of 
the action at the front could be determined and the remaining 
forces of Gen. Butler could be safely withdrawn or disposed for fu- 
ture operations. 

At 9 A. M., the 97th P. V. had joined the 13th Ind. and the 
artillery, at a point several miles distant, on the road indicated, 
where this force was guarding the extreme left of Butler's position. 
A company of each regiment was now deployed as skirmishers upon 
each flank. The entire force then moved along the Wier Bottom 
Church Road for nearly four miles. Occasional shots from the skir- 
mishers now gave notice of the vicinity of the enemy in front. 
Company F, of the 97th P. V., was sent forward and deployed to 
the right, with orders to move through the timber to ascertain the 
position of the enemy and report the information obtained to 
Lieut. Col. Pennypacker. He had formed the troops in line of 
battle across the road upon which he had advanced. As Company 
F pushed forward through the wood, a large body of the enemy was 
seen passing to the left without discovering the movement of our 
men. A messenger was sent to apprise Lieut. Col. Pennypacker 
of the enemy's approach. A brisk flre was also opened, from the 
skirmish line upon the flank of the rebels, to check their advance. 
Lieut. Col. Pennypacker's force, being prepared to meet them, de- 
livered a rapid and efi'ective fire, which completely surprised and 
drove back the advance with precipitation, impressed with the belief 
that they had struck the main line of a superior force. 

After the enemy had retired, three scouts, Sergt. John Kennedy 
and Privates William T. Meeteer and Samuel G. Scott, were sent 
forward, by Capt. Lewis, in compliance with orders from Lieut. Col. 
Pennypacker. They were directed to advance cautiously, as far as 



268 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. C*^^^' 

possible, to ascertain the position and movements of the main body 
of the rebel force. This duty was satisfactorily accomplished in a 
short time, the scouts reporting that a line of rebel skirmishers was 
lying in the wood about three hundred yards in front and to the 
left of our line of skirmishers, watching the movements of our men. 
Apparently, each party was diligently engaged observing the other, 
neither being disposed to attack without further observation of the 
situation. The main body of Beauregard's force occupied a meadow 
in the rear and the high ground upon either side where the artillery 
was posted. The enemy appeared to have come suddenly to a halt, 
no doubt supposing their progress was intercepted by a heavy force, 
hesitating to advance, from caution, until they could ascertain 
the extent of the opposing force, which, of necessity, maintained 
the defensive, being entirely unsupported. After ascertaining the 
situation on the right, Lieut. Col. Pennypacker withdrew Company 
F from the front and sent Capt. Lewis with it toward Walthall 
Station, on the Richmond and Petersburg Railroad, three-fourths of 
a mile to the left of his position, with orders to deploy the company 
on the ridge, between the main road leading toward the intrench- 
ments, at Foster's Place, and the position of the enemy, to pre- 
vent a flanking force gaining the rear of his position. The men 
were deployed as directed, reaching the ridge under fire from the 
enemy already in sight and within speaking distance. Firing was 
kept up briskly for some time, when the rebels ceased firing and 
called upon our men to " Surrender; we will use you well;" to which 
they replied, "If you want prisoners, you will have to come and 
take them." The firing soon after ceased. The enemy made no 
movement toward an advance. Our men lay quietly in line, ex- 
tended along the ridge for half a mile. The situation was critical 
and the chances of a rebel prison seemed quite probable. 

About 2 P. M., the enemy opened fire with their artillery; 
for two or three hours the iron hail pelted the woods and fields 
behind the position of our forces without effect. Every precaution 
had been taken to present a strong and vigilant line along the 
entire front, for which purpose the reserve was reduced to a mere 
remnant. Beauregard's advance was thus held in check by the 
97th P. V. and 13th Ind. during the afternoon of the 16th. Mean- 
while, Gen. Butler's forces were being withdrawn to the intrench- 
ments and the wounded brought off the field from Drury's Bluff 
and Fort Darling. 



1864. J . ADVANCE ON WIER BOTTOM CHUECH ROAD. 269 

At dusk, Lieut. Col. Pennypacker received orders to retire cau- 
tiously to the intrenchments. Rain had set in during the afternoon 
and it was quite cold, the men suffering greatly while lying upon 
the wet ground to avoid the fire of the enemy. Soon after dusk, 
it became evident the rebels were preparing to advance by a flank 
movement. Orders were now sent to the force on the left to fall 
back on the reserve, already upon the march by the main road to 
the intrenchments. The rebels were by this time on the march, 
also, by a parallel route, but our forces, having the inside and shorter 
line, reached camp in safety; the enemy, however, being within 
musket shot when the outer line was reached. Capt. Lewis' force, 
in retiring, was almost intercepted, the enemy having reached the 
main road in advance of his company, obliging him to make a de- 
tour to avoid capture. 

The men reached camp about 2 A. M. on the 17th, wet, cold, 
hungry and tired, having accomplished all that was deemed possible 
from so meagre a force, thrown across the advance of an adversary 
so wary and powerful, thereby saving the Army of the James from a 
serious disaster. Two men were wounded and five captured. 

During the action at Drury's Bluff, the firing was plainly heard 
at the picket line occupied by Company C. Maj. Price received a 
message from Lieut. Col. Pennypacker, requesting him to endeavor 
to have Company C relieved from picket and bring to the Regi- 
ment all the men in camp who were fit for duty. Having previously 
twice attempted, without success, to get the company relieved or per- 
mission for himself to rejoin the Regiment, he again went to Col. 
Howell and urged Lieut. Col. Pennypacker's request, in addition to 
his own desire, to be permitted to take the company to the front. 
Col. Howell now gave permission to take the men that were in 
camp, but would not relieve Company C from picket. Maj. Price 
collected about thirty men, convalescents and others at the camp, 
and marched at noon, on the 16th, to rejoin the Regiment. The 
road was now occupied by retiring troops and ambulances carrying 
the wounded from the field. At 3 P. M., while marching along the 
Richmond and Petersburg turnpike, the rear guard of Gen. Butler's 
army was met. Maj. Price was, therefore, obliged to return to camp 
with his men, as the position of the Regiment could not be ascer- 
tained, the advance on the Wier Bottom Church Road being only 
known at Gen. Butler's head-quarters. Company C was relieved 
from picket and returned to camp on the 17th. 



270 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. ' C^ay, 

On the morning of the 18th, Beauregard's forces, having advanced 
to within a short distance of the picket lines, then assaulted a por- 
tion of the line at Foster's Place, near Green Plains, from which a 
detachment of the 8th Maine was driven. About 8 A. M., the 97th 
P. V. was ordered to the front to retake the line. Companies A, 
F, D and I were deployed by Lieut. Col. Pennypacker and advanced 
under his command in a skirmish line, supported by the remainder 
of the Ilegiment under the command of Maj. Price. The entire 
force advanced at a run, against a brisk fire, charging upon the 
enemy's line in a brilliant manner, regained the position, the enemy 
retiring to the shelter of a ravine and some buildings adjacent, 
from which a continuous fire of musketry was kept up and returned 
by our line during the day. Our men sought every available ad- 
vanced point from which to reach the enemy in their sheltered 
position. The windows of the buildings were so closely watched 
that our marksmen, sighting the muzzle of a rebel rifle projecting, 
were sure to deliver a well-directed shot that often prevented the 
discharge of the piece. For over nine hours the storm of fire raged. 
The ammunition, being several times exhausted, was replenished 
again and again from the rear; details of men, with gum blankets, 
into which the contents of the ammunition boxes were poured, 
crawled to the front dragging the supplies, which were thrown for- 
ward to those in the advanced sheltered positions, from which it 
was certain death to move while daylight lasted. An aid of one of 
the generals said, in the hearing of several of our men, " The 97tli 
P. V. would hold that line three weeks if kept supplied with am- 
munition." Darkness alone closed the contest. 

The casualties had been severe; four were killed and fifty-two 
wounded, several mortally, who died soon after. The total loss was 
fifty-seven, as follows: Company A, one killed, nine wounded; 
Company B, two wounded ; Company C, one killed, four wounded, 
one captured; Company D, fifteen wounded; Company E, one 
wounded; Company F, one killed, five wounded; Company G, ten 
wounded; Company H, one wounded; Company I, one wounded; 
Company K, one killed, three wounded ; non-commissioned staff, one 
wounded. Many of these were veterans who had only a few days 
before returned from their homes. 

The place where this action on the 18th occurred was known as 
Foster's Place. Some accounts have since given the name of Ber- 
muda Hundred to both this and the action of the 20th, which took 



1864.] ACTION AT FOSTER'S PLACE, VA. 271 

place on the plain slightly in the rear of this position. By some 
strange inadvertence, the 97th P. V. was left upon the field of its 
severe and unremitting contest of the 18th until 10 P. M., when it 
was relieved by the 48th N. Y., and returned to camp hungry, weary 
and begrimed with the smoke of battle. The killed and wounded 
had been carried off the field during the day. Among them were 
Capt. Francis M. Guss, Company A, severely wounded by buck and 
ball, in the right knee; 1st Lieut. Abel Griffith, of the same com- 
pany, was also severely wounded in the left wrist ; Capt. Samuel V. 
Blaqk, Company K, in the left arm; he, however, persisted in re- 
maining at the front for several hours after he was struck; Fife Maj. 
John Parsons was wounded in the lungs, and died in the U. S. 
Hospital, at Fortress Monroe ; Corps. M. Davis Thomas and E,. B. 
Wilson, Company C, were mortally wounded; both died a few days 
later at Fortress Monroe. The killed were Sergt. Isaac Acker, 
Company C; Privates Jesse C. D. Stoops, Company A; Milton 
H. White, Company F, and John C. Guthrie, Company K. 

The death of Sergt. Acker was occasioned by one of those irregu- 
larities that came to be regarded as a bane to the service — the un- 
authorized orders of junior staff officers to non-commissioned officers 
and soldiers on duty at the front. One of these, on a tour of ob- 
servation along the line, ambitious of displaying authority, ordered 
Sergt. Acker, with a few men, to advance into a piece of wood upon 
the left, to ascertain if there were any of the enemy concealed in it. 
He was informed that it was full of them, but insisted upon the 
advance being made. There being no commissioned officer in sight 
to whom Sergt. Acker could appeal, and not at liberty to leave the 
position to ascertain the correctness of the order, Sergt. Acker felt 
it his duty to obey the lieutenant. He cautiously advanced, with 
three or four men, having to crawl upon the ground through the 
grass. They had barely reached the edge of the timber when the 
sergeant was shot through the heart by a rebel sharp-shooter only a 
few paces in advance. The men then returned, dragging his lifeless 
body with them. 

Upon seeing the fatal result of his order, the lieutenant quickly 
retired to avoid identification. Many efforts were made to ascer- 
tain his name, but without success; he evidently took care to keep 
out of sight of the men who were able to identify him, and, 
as no officer saw him at the front, he was not discovered and held 
responsible for his action. Perhaps under no other circumstances 



272 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. t^^y- 

would a like order have been obeyed by any non-commissioned 
officer of the Regiment, without the sanction of one of their officers 
or an officer known to them; but, being under fire in action, the 
excitement of the occasion induced the conviction that there was no 
choice but to obey the order; and Sergt. Acker, faithful to every 
Icnown duty, was brave enough to obey rather than seem to shrink 
from any danger. 

Capt. Guss and Lieut. Griffith did not sufficiently recover to 
rejoin the Regiment again, after being sent to the U. S. Hospital, at 
Annapolis, Md., from which place they were discharged, on account 
of wounds and expiration of term. 

Surgeon John R. Everhart, medical officer of the 1st brigade, oc- 
cupied a small house a short distance in the rear of the camp of the 
97th P. V. To this point the wounded had been conveyed, where 
they received the most efficient care and attention and their wounds 
were properly dressed before removal. The officers were sent to 
Chesapeake Hospital and the men to Hampton Hospital, at Fortress 
Monroe, and to Point Lookout, Md. Asst. Surgeon Eli McClellan, 
medical department U. S. A., was at this time acting medical di- 
rector of the department. He was assisted by a large and efficient 
staff of surgeons and nurses, who did all in their power to relieve 
the sufferings of the brave men confided to their care. 

Private Henry Albright, Company A, received an injury whilst 
working with a detail felling trees, at the front. He died, at the 
brigade hospital, on the 19th, and was buried near the hospital. 

On the evening of May 19, Companies A, B, C and E of the 97th 
P. v., numbering about one hundred and fifty men, under command 
of Maj. Price, were detailed for picket and occupied the same fine 
which the Regiment had recaptured and held on the 18th; being 
along an old road-bed, the line had been partially intrenched. Soon 
after the men got into position, the enemy charged upon them. 
Our men were cool and steady, and having the honor of the previous 
day's reoccupation and stubborn maintenance of the same ground 
to sustain, opened a brisk fire upon the advancing enemy, repulsing 
them with considerable loss. Twice during the night the enemy 
renewed the attempt and made desperate efforts to drive in the left 
of our line and the right of the 9 th Maine, upon our left, but each 
attempt was repulsed by the steady and determined fire of our men 
and that of the 9th Maine. 



18®*1 ACTION AT GREEN PLAINS, VA. 273 




CHAPTER IX. 

Action at Green Plains, Bermuda Hundred; Co-operation with 
THE Army of the Potomac; Action at Cold Harbor; Return to 
THE James; Advance against Petersburg; Action at Peters- 
burg Heights; Siege Operations; Mat 20 to June 23, 1864. 

HE 20th of May, 1864, was a day memorable in the 
history of the 97th P. V., no less for the brilliant 
test of the unflinching courage and fidelity of its 
officers and men than for the disastrous results 
arising from the inexcusable misapprehension of the 
situation on the part of those who were, unhappily, 
in position to order the fatal charge, which swept 
"^^^^^ down the ranks of the Regiment like chafi" before 
the wind, as it marched into the jaws of death with 
a dash like the charge of the famous Six Hundred at Balaklava. A 
detailed account of the events which preceded, and of the neglect 
that permitted, the day's disa,ster may not be inappropriate. This 
is obtained from notes of his observations at the time, made within 
a few days after, by Maj. Price, who commanded the portion of the 
line occupied by the 97th P. V., a Maj. Calvin (first name, State 
and regiment not known), being the field officer of the trenches, 
having command of the entire line: 

Having frustrated several attempts of the enemy to capture the 
line, it was evident that these were mainly a mask to cover more 
formidable operations in our front. During the night of the 19th, 
could hear the enemy moving their artillery in front of our left and 
centre, the commands of the officers being plainly distinguished, 
leaving no room to doubt the nature of the movements going on. 
Sent a messenger to report the facts to Maj. Calvin, who could, not 
be found. A message was then left for him at his quarters. At 
daylight, on the morning of the 20th, discovered that the enemy 
was massing troops on our right and left, and beyond it in front of 
18 



274 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. ^^^7' 

the 9th Maine, the extreme left of the line. A force was also dis- 
covered, massed behind a large house opposite the centre of the po- 
sition, in rear of the enemy's line. These observations were duly 
reported, by messenger, to Maj. Calvin. The morning was quite 
foggy, but it lifted at intervals, affording opportunity for the obser- 
vations made; the enemy evidently taking advantage of the fog to 
get their men into concealed positions as near our lines as possible. 
It was estimated that at least a division of the enemy was being 
massed against our position. Our men were posted in the line, 
at about three paces apart, in single file. Picks and shovels being 
furnished, the men had worked during the night to complete and 

strengthen the defences, so that by 
daylight they were sheltered by a 
line of well-constructed rifle pits. 
Soon after daylight, the enemy's 
skirmishers advanced cautiously 
upon our right, were fired upon by 
the pickets and driven back. A 
second messenger was then dis- 
patched with this information to 
the officer in command of the line, 
RIFLE PITS AT GREEN PLAINS, YA. with au urgout roquost that he 

(Maj. Calvin) come to the front and 
observe the situation; requesting, also, that a reserve force should 
be immediately sent out, there being no support to the line nearer 
than the intrenchraents, more than a mile distant. The fog pre- 
vented satisfactory observation of the movements of the enemy for 
a time. When it lifted, there was revealed a rebel earthwork, on a 
knoll less than half a mile distant, with embrasures for three guns. 
An attempt to mask it with brush and fallen trees failed to conceal 
its position or object. It was now 8 A. M. The field officer of 
the day had not yet appeared at the front. The situation, so well 
comprehended by those in the line, became each moment more 
critical. The men, being three paces apart in the rifle pits, though 
courageous enough to stay and hold the position against any ordi- 
nary force, were no match for the overwhelming numbers opposed to 
them. This was subsequently ascertained to consist of the rebel 
Gen. Pickett's entire division. His skirmishers were several times 
advanced at diff'erent points, apparently with a view of ascertaining 
the strength of our line. Our fire being well directed, drove back 




^^®*1 ACTION AT GREEN PLAINS, VA. 275 

the advance, but the little blue puffs of smoke at three paces' in- 
terval revealed to the enemy the weakness of the line and its ina- 
bility to cope with the massed troops lying in wait for the signal 
to advance. 

At 8.15, the field officer not arriving, a third messenger was 
sent to report the situation to Col. H, R. Guss, with a request that 
the messenger might be directed to proceed to Gen. Butler's head- 
quarters and report to him the approach of the enemy in force. 
Soon after the messenger had started, the field officer came to the 
front, to whom Maj. Price reported his observations. The fog at 
this time, not entirely lifted, obstructed somewhat the view in front. 
Maj. Calvin did not seem inclined to give attention to the report, 
and remarked that the force was the usual reserve of the pickets — 
and the advance of the skirmishers the relief of the picket line — 
to which it was replied: "Major, I have been in the service nearly 
three years and claim not to be mistaken in what has been observed 
and repeatedly reported to you. Where are the needed reinforcements 
that should now be in this line to hold it an hour longer 1" He 
then said a reserve of two hundred men was at the rear. Maj. 
Price urged him to bring them up at once to occupy the line the 
men of the 97th R V. had worked all night to render secure. 
The reply was: "/do not think we shall be attacked." As he spoke, 
three rebel regiments, with colors flying, moved out from behind 
the house in our front, marching en echelon obliquely to their right 
across our front. Maj. Price then directed the attention of the 
field officer, who was standing with his .back to the front, to the 
movement of the enemy. The occasion seemed to justify the re- 
mark, "Major, that looks like a rather heavy picket force." At the 
same instant, the rebel batteries opened fire upon our line with vigor, 
but their shell fell beyond our position at first; afterward, with 
more deadly eifect. A heavy line of battle also moved forward, op- 
posite our right, followed by other lines in succession. 

The aspect, so suddenly changed, seemed to dispel the confidence 
that had so loftily asserted there would be no attack ! Expecting 
orders, but receiving none — for the field officer disappeared with- 
out having given a word of command — it was evident that we should 
have the affair to ourselves. The hope still remained that we might 
be able to hold the enemy in check, by our fire, until support could 
reach us from the intrenchments, when the peril of the situation 
should be realized there. Knowing that the men of the 97th P. V 



276 HISTORY OF THE NINKTY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. ^^^V' 

would hold the line they occupied if the 9th Maine, on the left, 
did not give way and expose the flank; it was apparent that the 
greatest danger was to be apprehended upon the left, as it was 
believed the rebel advance upon our right was a demonstration to 
cover the design of turning our left flank by a heavy charge upon 
the position of the 9th Maine, which proved to be the case. 

After passing to the right of the 97th P. V., then down the line 
toward the left, urging the men to take it coolly and reserve their 
fire until it would be effective, then try to keep the enemy back 
until support could reach us, as it surely must soon; it was thought 
we could stai/ there if only the left did not fail us. To make sure of 
this, Maj. Price intimated to his oflicers and men that he should go 
toward the left to see what could be done to keep the line from 
breaking there. The men of the 97th P. V. were true and steady, 
so that confidence remained even in face of the fearful odds ad- 
vancing against them. By this time the right of the first rebel regi- 
ment, advancing en echelon across the front of our position, had 
reached the edge of the wood opposite our left. The three regiments 
then advanced directly toward our lines until the severity of the 
fire of the 97th P. V. caused them to lie down in the tall grass that 
covered the field. 

The wood in front of our left afforded cover to within a short dis- 
tance of the position occupied by the 9th Maine. Suddenly a yell 
broke upon our ears as a massed column of rebel infantry charged 
upon the 9th Maine, issuing from the wood a few yards from the 
lines, yelling and charging as they advanced in successive Unes. 
The 9th Maine broke from their position and ran without firing a 
shot, leaving a gap on the left of the 97th P. V. for the enemy to 
enter. 

Seeing the disaster, and hoping to remedy it, Maj. Price hurried 
from near the left of his line, across the angle formed by the 
lines of oblique intersection of the 9th Maine with the 97th V. V., 
and intercepted about two hundred men of that regiment, a lieute- 
nant being the only officer with them. With considerable difficulty, 
he succeeded in rallying them and formed line, discharging a few 
volleys, but the rebels, having gained the shelter of the trenches, 
opened a steady fire upon the position, under which it was impos- 
sible to keep the demoralized men faced to the enemy. They soon 
broke and ran for cover. Maj. Price then found himself cut off 
from his regiment, which still held its position, the fire of the enemy 



*8®*'] ACTION AT GREEN PLAINS, VA. 277 

covering the open field intervening. Just then three skirmish lines 
of the 13th Ind. were observed advancing in succession across the 
field tow^ard Maj. Price, w^ho immediately joined the advance line 
and veas leading the men to the support of the 97th P. V.; but the 
fire of the enemy, svreeping every part of the field, soon cut down 
all before it. Almost every man of the three lines fell, either killed 
or wounded. 

A rebel battery of field pieces had opened from a position on the 
left with grape and canister immediately after they gained the 
trenches occupied by the 9th Maine. This terrible hail was also 
poured upon us. Maj. Price was struck by a spent canister shot 
in the right thigh, and fell slightly wounded. He was able to crawl 
forward about twenty yards to a ditch, where a few of the men from 
the left of the 97th P. V. had already found shelter, having retired 
when the enemy began to assail their flank and rear. The 97th P- 
V. was enabled by its continuous fire to hold the advance of the 
rebels in its immediate front in check for a time, but when the 
enemy had fully occupied the line held by the 9th Maine, the 97th 
P. v., being assaulted in the flank and rear, could no longer hold 
their position — the enemy gradually advancing along the intrenched 
line — the men of the 97th P. V. had to choose between capture or 
running the gauntlet of the open field to the shelter of the ditch a 
few yards in the rear. A portion of the 4th N. H., occupying the 
line to the right of the 97th P. V., was also forced to retire The 
most escaped in safety, but many were wounded there, and pre- 
viously, by shot and shell. 

Capt. J. M. C. Savage, Company B, on the right, was left in com- 
mand of the detachment of the 97th P. V. when Maj. Price assumed 
command of the entire line abandoned by the field oflacer. Capt. 
Savage was severely wounded in the left hip and abdomen while 
bravely holding the ditch. He was carried off the field by some of 
his men. Over one fourth of the number were killed or wounded ; 
a few were captured by the enemy. 

When it was realized at head-quarters that the enemy had ad- 
vanced and occupied a portion of our line, the 13th Ind. and about 
three hundred men of the 97th P. V., who were not on duty when 
the line was captured in the morning, under command of Col. 
Cyrus J. Dobbs, of the 13th Ind., were ordered to advance and re- 
capture the line. It seemed impossible even yet for those in au- 
thority to realize the nature of the attack the enemy had made, 



278 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. C^^^^' 

else surely so inadequate a force would never have been thus reck- 
lessly sent to assault a force so greatly superior, in a line so well 
intrenched. 

When arrived near the front, Company D, of the 97th P, V., 
under command of Capt. W. S. Mendenhall, was sent forward to 
reconnoitre. At about 4 P. M., Lieut. Col. Pennypacker was or- 
dered, by Col. Dobbs, to form his regiment in line of battle across 
the open field and to charge the right of the rebel lines, stating that 
the centre was already taken. Company D was then withdrawn 
and formed on the left of the other companies. Lieut. Col. Penny- 
packer then advanced his line across the field toward the rebel po- 
sition, charging in gallant style, the men keeping well together 
When within one hundred yards of the rebel lines a murderous fire 
of musketry, grape and canister, from six field pieces, was poured 
through their ranks, mowing them down in swift destruction, until 
more than half the line was prostrated. Still the noble fellows kept 
on with their gallant leader, who had twice fallen, and rising again 
pushed forward, cheering his men in the efibrt to reach the rebel 
lines. But falling again, for the third time, severely wounded, his 
shattered and broken ranks were compelled to retire, taking shelter 
in the ravine, previously noticed, where they remained until dark, 
it being impossible to gain the rear exposed to the withering fire of 
Gen. Pickett's division. 

During the advance, seven color bearers were shot down succes- 
sively, as they, in turn, grasped the standard from the hands of 
those who fell in the desperate charge, the last of the guard, himself 
wounded, bringing the tattered banner and its shattered staff safely 
from the field, pierced with over one hundred bullets, three of 
which struck the staff. 

While in this position, several efforts were made, by the enemy, 
to capture the men, but they kept up a fire on the rebel forces that 
approached. When their ammunition was nearly exhausted, a man 
of the 13th Ind., who was with the 97th P. V., recollected that his 
company, when ordered intq the action, had left some boxes of ammu- 
nition at a point some distance off, which he thought he could find, 
the only difiiculty being to cross the space swept by the enemy's 
guns. Corp. I. A. Cleaver, of Company C, though severely 
wounded in the foot, volunteered to help him make the attempt. 
They succeeded in crawling beyond the range of fire, secured the 
contents of the boxes in their gum blankets and returned a distance 



1864.] ACTION AT GREEN PLAINS, VA. 279 

of near one-quarter of a mile, again successfully evading the fire, 
and reached the ravine with their ammunition. 

By crawling stealthily through the grass, some of the dead and 
wounded were reached and brought to the ravine, by the edge of 
which the dead were laid and buried by covering them with earth 
dug to make a more defensive shelter from the enemy's fire. The 
picket line had been re-established at some distance in the rear of 
the ravine. At dark, those who still occupied it, vs^ith Capts. Men- 
denhall and Lewis, were in the dilemma of having to run the 
gauntlet of a double fire, the pickets being required to be vigi- 
lant against the approach of the enemy. Upon consultation, they 
determined to w^ait until the moonrise, about 10 P. M., should give 
them better advantage. Sergt. Cleaver, whose wound had become 
very painful, was the first to go in. After crawling about one hun- 
dred yards, he was observed and hailed by the pickets of his own 
company, who recognized his voice. He passed in, and the signal 
agreed upon, two guns, were then fired to inform the others that 
they could now come back in safety. The wounded were then car- 
ried to the rear, where stretchers were in readiness to bear them to 
the hospital. The men returned to camp stiff", sore and weary, a 
mere squad of those who started out in the morning. 

The charge of the 97th P. V. was the admiration of all who 
witnessed it, being in full view of both lines on an open plain, 
and made with a steadiness and daring seldom if ever e.qualled — a 
brilliant movement, led bravely and gallantly by Lieut. Col. Penny- 
packer, then a slender youth, yet a veteran in the service, who 
knew how to obey orders even at such fatal risk. Knowing it must 
he fruitless, because unsupported, neither he nor the brave men with 
him thought of aught but duty, and they never faltered at the com- 
mand " Forward." 

It was not until after this charge, at such fearful cost, and the 
loss of so many of \ts brave and noble men, cut down in a moment 
of time, that the results of Maj. Price's observation in the morning 
could be fully comprehended at head-quarters, or the fact realized 
that the enemy had massed a heavy force in our front for an attack. 
Need it have required such terrible sacrifice to verify what should 
have been accepted as reported and guarded against before the time 
for averting the danger had been losf? 

When Lieut. Col. Pennypacker was carried from the field, by his 
men, it was found that he was wounded severely through the right 



280 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. [*^*y' 

arm, left leg and right side. He received the kind and prompt 
attention of Surgeon J. R. Everhart, acting brigade surgeon, who 
dressed his wounds at the camp of the Eegiment. He remained in 
his tent until the next day, when he was sent to the general hospital 
at Fortress Monroe. He subsequently returned to "West Chester, 
where he remained until partially recovered, and rejoined the Regi- 
ment at Bermuda Hundred, Va., August 12, 1864. 

The officers killed in this action were 1st Lieut. Isaac Fawkes, 
Company D, a faithful soldier and reliable officer, who was shot 
through the groin and side. 1st. Lieut. George H. Durnall and 2d 
Lieut. Lewis H. Watkin, both of Company H, were left on the field 
where they fell, our men being prevented from reaching them by the 
enemy's sharp-shooters. Both were young men of great merit, and 
had but recently been promoted. Company H lost all its commis- 
sioned officers, and nearly all its non-commissioned officers either 
killed or wounded. Capt. George A. Lemaistre was severely 
wounded in the left wrist and left leg; Sergt. John A. Russell, 
Company H, who brought in the colors after they had fallen from 
six successive bearers stricken down, was also severely wounded in 
the leg. In addition to Maj. Price and Capt. Savage, already men- 
tioned as having been wounded early in the action, the following 
officers were also wounded, viz.: Capt. William S. Mendenhall, Com- 
pany D, slightly wounded in the abdomen; Capt. D. W. C. Lewis, 
Company E, slightly in left foot; 1st Lieut. Gasway O. Yarn all, Com- 
pany G, slightly in the breast, and 2d Lieut. "William H. H. Gibson, 
Company I, severely in the left knee. Capts. Savage and Lemaistre 
and Lieut. Gibson were sent to the U. S. Hospital, at Fortress Mon- 
roe, "V^a. The two former, in consequence of the severity of their 
wounds, were prevented from rejoining the Regiment. 

Capt. Savage was discharged on October 22, 1864, and Capt. Le- 
maistre on September 20, 1864. Lieut. Gibson returned to his 
company in July, and served with the Regiment until its final 
muster out, after being promoted to 1st lieutenant. 

The wounded were conveyed in ambulances from the brigade 
hospital to the Point of Rocks, on the night of the 20th and morn- 
ing of the 21st, where about one hundred of those most severely 
wounded were placed on board the hospital boat Sylvan Shore, 
under the charge of Dr. Sawyer, a volunteer surgeon serving with 
the medical corps. These were transferred to the hospitals at 
Fortress Monroe. 



186*] ^ ACTION AT GREEN PLAINS, VA. 281 

About thirty-three others of the 97th P. V., with a number of 
other wounded soldiers were placed on board the barge Gen. Wool, 
on the 21st, and conveyed under charge of a volunteer surgeon to 
Bermuda Hundred Landing, where they were transferred to the 
hospital boat City of New York, under charge of Col. (since brevet 
brigadier general) John E. Mulford, of the 3d N. Y. 

These were sent to Hammond Hospital, Point Lookout, Md. 
Eight of these wounded men were afterward transferred to the 
Veteran Reserve Corps. One of the number, 1st Sergt. James 
Edgar Engle, Company I, who was wounded in the face, body and 
arm, the latter amputated, was discharged on August 24, following, 
to accept promotion as 2d lieutenant in the 16th Veteran Reserve 
Corps, Col. Charles M. Prevost, with which he served until mustered 
out at the close of the war. 

Of the captured, only two were exchanged, one of whom returned 
to the Regiment. But few of those severely wounded ever recovered 
sufficiently to rejoin their companies, being mustered out in hospital 
on account of wdunds or of expiration of term. Of those who 
were able to rejoin the Regiment, several were soon afterward again 
wounded, some within a few days after their return. 

The following exhibits the loss sustained by each company during 
the action of the 20th, known as that of Green Plains, Va., viz.: 
field and staff, one wounded; Company A, two killed, five wounded, 
one captured; Company B, one killed, seven wounded; Company 
C, four killed, twenty-one wounded, one captured; Company D, four 
killed, nine wounded; Company E, one killed, three wounded, ten 
captured ; Company F, seven killed, eighteen wounded ; Company 
G, four killed, sixteen wounded; Company H, ten killed, fourteen 
wounded; Company I, four killed, twenty wounded; Company K, 
ten killed, fifteen wounded. Total, one hundred and eighty-eight. 

For several days after this action the Regiment seemed broken, 
sad and desolate; so many in each company had fallen, which 
caused mourning for companions and friends, and the wounded being 
sent off to the general hospital, were also missed from their tents ; 
at roll call the sad answer, "Dead," "Wounded," or "Prisoner," 
told of the absence of many who never" again responded to the call. 

Every effort continued to be made to reach the bodies of the 
slain, which still lay unburied between the lines, the enemy re- 
fusing to allow our men to move out for the purpose with a flag of 
truce. Each night two or three were brought in, until all were 



282 HISTORY OF THE NINET T-SEVENTH REGIMENT. t^^y- 

brought off that the daring men could reach by crawling stealthily 
over the field. 

Maj. Price's wound causing but slight lameness, he resumed duty 
on the 23d, when he took command of the Regiment, retaining it 
until August 13. 

After the disastrous action of the 20th of May, those responsible 
for the unfortunate mistake which thrust the 97th P. V. into the 
jaws of death and needless slaughter, in order to escape the deserved 
censure attaching to such a blunder, sought to cast the blame upon 
Lieut. Col. Pennypacker through intimations that he did not move 
in accordance with his orders. 

An account of the action, published in the New York Tribune 
and New York Herald, evidently prepared by those interested in 
shifting the responsibility of the disaster upon others, stated " That 
Lieut. Col. Pennypacker, not properly understanding the order, 
moved across the open field instead of under cover of the wood." 
This seemed too unjust to be allowed to pass in silence. The officers 
and men of the Regiment could not permit this attempt to mar the 
fair fame of their gallant leader to go unrebuked. It was more 
than endurable that their fallen comrades should have been so need- 
lessly slaughtered, without this base attempt to slaughter the repu- 
tation of their brave commander. A communication was, there- 
fore, prepared, on the morning the libellous report was received, 
while the Regiment was lying at a halt by the way, awaiting the 
assembling of the brigade for the march. After being attested, by 
every officer and man who heard the order given, it was duly for- 
warded to the Tribune office and was published in that journal, in 
vindication of our brave wounded leader. 

A CORRECTION. 

Head-Qdartees 97th P. V., 10th A. C, in the Field, near City Point, Va., 

May 27, 1864. 
To the Editor of the New York Tribune: 

Sir: I desire to correct some of the statements of your correspondent J. W., 

of date May 20, from this place. The parenthetical remark (quoted from J. W.), 

that "the most accurate observer is liable to be misinformed," will obviate the 

need of apology for my so doin^. The first error is in stating that "the 91th 

New York" was a part of the force occupying the rifle pits. It was the 91th 

Pennsylvania, which, with a portion of the 4th N. H., were in the centre of the 

line and remained in the trenches until the rebels had gained their rear through 

the opening left by the retiring of the 9th Maine, the 9th Maine being on -the 

left of the line attacked. The next error is the statement that "the leader of 



^8®*-] ACTION AT GREEN PLAINS, VA. 283 

the 97th P. V., in the charge upon the left, had mistaken, or rather not followed 
his orders." The orders were plainly given, by Col. Cyrus J. Dobbs, of the 13th 
Ind., to whom Lieut. Col. Pennypacker, commanding the 97th P. V., was ordered 
to report, and were distinctly heard by Lieut. Col. Pennypacker, by Capt. D. W. 
C. Lewis, commanding Company F, by 1st Lieut. J. T. Skiles, acting adjutant 
97th P. v., and by several other officers and men of the Regiment who were 
near enough to render any mistake impossible. All agree in testifying to the 
words of the command: "Colonel, form your regiment in line and charge the 
left of those works, the right is taken." The charge was made with that prompt 
and unquestioning obedience to orders characteristic of the gallant officer who 
led it. 

Your correspondent is in error, also, when he states that "they ran desperately 
forward, hesitated, wavered and ran back all in a moment of time." On the 
contrary, the regularity of the line and its steady, unwavering front, even under 
the murderous fire of grape and canister and terrible musketry of the enemy, 
is the universal testimony of thousands who witnessed it; and when at length 
the utter impossibility of gaining the rifle pits became apparent — when more than 
half the line had fallen and the leader of the brave boys was three times 
wounded and down, a halt was made and the order to retire given — the line 
came back in order slowly across the open space where so many had fallen. 
There was no "run," no "wavering," no "mistaking of orders." "Somebody had 
blundered," but it was neither the 97/A P. V. nor its gallant leader, who only 
too well obeyed the orders given him. 'Tis said in the famous charge of the 
Six Hundred, "somebody blundered ;" so in this. But the order was obeyed as 
faithfully, leaving a record rivaling that famous one in its fearful carnage. Let 
no imputation of error or mistake be cast upon the brave who fell, needlessly 
(ell, following their gallant leader, in obedience to orders, "into the jaws of 
death." 

Another correspondent, same date, signed W. H. K., states that the 97th P. 
V. and 13th Ind., in an attempt to retake the rifle pits, were ordered to move 
through (through italicized) the woods. Those regiments moved just where they 
were ordered to move, as can be abundantly proven where the facts are known. 
Respectfully, yours, Isaiah Price, 

Capt. 97th P. v., Comd'g Reg't. 

This communication was republished in the papers of Chester 
and Delaware Counties. It was expected that the publication 
might subject the writer to censure, perhaps to the extent of for- 
feiting his commission in the service. But in view of the circum- 
stances this risk was accepted, believing it was justified and rested 
as a paramount duty upon the present commander of the Eegiment, 
in vindication of his friend and commanding oflficer, now helpless 
and defenceless from his wounds, yet feeling all the more keenly the 
injustice of the published reports of the affair. 

On May 21, part of the Regiment again went on duty in the 



284 HISTORY OF THE NINETT-SEYENTH REGIMENT. t^^^' 

trenches. The enemy had been constantly increasing their force in 
front of Gen. Butler's position. Gen. Pickett's division having in- 
trenched the ground secured on the 20th, and mounted his artillery, 
opened fire upon Gen. Butler's works. His shot and shell came 
crashing at intervals through the camps in the rear of the intrench- 
ments. It became evident the enemy meant to attack. 

About 10 P. M., on the 21st, Gen. Butler was apprised, by a 
messenger from the front, that the enemy were massing their forces 
in front of Gen. Gillmore's position, the centre of the line. Butler 
nonchalantly replied, "Let them mass, but guard against surprise." 
The valiant troops of Gen. Gillmore, thus menaced, were always on 
the alert. Deep ravines protected the lines on Gen. Butler's right 
and an impassable swamp and a ravine also rendered his left quite 
secure from attack. The centre was, therefore, the only available 
point for the enemy to concentrate upon. Shortly before midnight, 
a volley of musketry broke the stillness and aroused the toil-worn 
soldiers in the camp. The call to arms was beat before the echoes 
of the enemy's guns had been repeated. The timely discovery of 
their intentions afforded Gen. Gillmore ample opportunity to give 
them a warm reception. Our pickets, in front of Gen. Ames' line, 
received the enemy's fire with great steadiness, returning volley for 
volley as they gradually retired upon their reserve. When the 
rebel column approached it was received with a most withering fire. 
Our men then dropped to allow the artillery to play over them and 
upon the enemy. The siege guns and light batteries then com- 
menced their work. The advance of the rebels was mowed down 
like grass, but they came up to the breach like veterans, filling up 
the gaps as the men fell, but the incessant fire from our batteries 
at last halted them and the confident foe was stayed in their mad 
career. Gen. Beauregard led the assaulting column — a very heavy 
force. The attack was most impetuous and, but for Gen. Gillmore's 
wariness and skill, supported by the indomitable courage and valor 
of his well-tried 10th Corps, might have succeeded. The battle 
lasted nearly two hours and was probably one of the moSt desperate 
conflicts, in the time occupied and the number of men engaged, that 
occurred during the war. Soon after the action commenced, a shell 
from one of Capt. Loomis L. Langdon's Battery M, 1st tJ. S. Art'y, 
struck and exploded a rebel caisson, scattering death and destruction 
all around it> The gunboats in the James and Appomatox Rivers 
also opened their batteries and operated successfully against the 



1864- ] Beauregard's assault on the intrenchments repulsed. 285 

enemy's flanks and their reserve forces in the rear. Gen. Gillra ore's 
loss was about ten killed and fifty wounded. 

When the enemy had withdrawn, our men proceeded to bury 
the rebel killed left on the field. Among the wounded prisoners 
who fell into our hands was Brig. Gen. William S. Walker, whose 
leg was amputated by Surgeon John J. Craven, of the medical de- 
partment, 10th Corps. He subsequently recovered and was paroled 
and exchanged. 

The position occupied by Butler's forces, on a neck of land 
formed by the course of the two rivers, was now demonstrated to be 
impregnable to any force, however formidable, that might attempt 
to take it while defended by the veterans of the 10th and 18th 
Corps. 

On the 22d, a working party of the enemy appeared in front of 
our works and began to use their spades and axes. One of our 
batteries opened fire upon them and, by a few well-directed shots, 
postponed their operations. The 97th P. V. continued to furnish a 
part of the regular detail for duty at the front each day until the 
27th, when, in conformity with orders received from Gen. Grant, to 
send him all the troops that could with safety be spared, to reinforce 
the Army of the Potomac, then on the peninsula, advancing upon 
Eichmond, Gen. Butler dispatched the 18th Corps and the 2d divi- 
sion of the 10th, being about seventeen thousand of the most efficient 
men of his entire force of twenty-five thousand, under command of 
Brig. Gen. William F. Smith, with orders to proceed to White 
House, Va. The 97th P. Y. had been transferred, on May 28, from 
the 1st brigade, 3d division, to the 3d brigade, 2d division, 10th 
Corps. Col. H. E. Guss was assigned to the command of the bri- 
gade; the division being commanded by Gen. A. Ames. 

The division left the front on the afternoon of May 27, marched 
three miles and encamped, for the night, near the Burnt House, 
about three miles from Bermuda Hundred Landing. The march to 
the landing was resumed the next afternoon. The 97th P. V., 
being one of the last to embark, had halted at some distance from 
the wharf; when ready to go on board, after dark, were piloted to 
the vessel by Lieut. Col. William L. James and his brother, E. F. 
James, both of West Chester. The former, being Gen. Butler's chief 
quarter-master, had provided well for his friends of the 97th P. V, 
in the assignment of transports. The brief period of the embarka- 
tion was rendered most pleasant by the presence and attention of 



286 HISTOKT OF THE NINETT-SEYENTH REGIMENT. [Jnne, 

those familiar friends who were personally known to many in the 
Eegiment. Gen. Smith's force, having all embarked, proceeded 
down the James River to Fortress Monroe, Va., thence up the Pa- 
munky River to White House, Va., where the troops were landed 
on May 30. The regiments of the 10th Corps encamped about 
half a mile from the landing, under shelter tents, to await the ar- 
rival of the remainder of the division. The 18th Corps marched 
immediately to the front. While at White House Landing, the 
1st Regiment Pennsylvania Reserves, commanded by Col. William 
Cooper Talley, of Delaware County, arrived, en route home, their 
term of service having expired. They had in charge about seven 
hundred rebel prisoners, captured, by Grant's Army, at the Wilder- 
ness. There were many happy meetings of friends and relatives 
among the officers and men of the two regiments, some of the com- 
panies having been recruited in the same locality. The Reserves 
had also occupied Camp Wayne. 

On June 2, Col. Guss was relieved of the command of the 3d 
brigade and returned to his regiment, but did not resume the com- 
mand, having, for reasons more fully stated in a future paragraph, 
' tendered his resignation to the commanding general of the depart- 
ment; he awaited its acceptance. Col. Louis Bell, of the 4th N. H., 
was now assigned to the command of the brigade, to which the 
169th N. Y. had been added. Col. Bell was quite desirous to have 
Adjt. H. W. Carruthers, of the 97th P. V., upon his staff as acting 
assistant adjutant general. Twice the detail was made and the 
colonel twice made the request personally, but the adjutant politely 
declined his kind offer, preferring to remain with his regiment, 
knowing that his own desire was seconded by Maj. Price, who, 
while unwilling to allow his wishes to stand in the way of this pro- 
motion, felt the need of his. support in the command of the Regi- 
ment after the departure of their beloved commander. From this 
time, until August 22, when he was stricken down in battle, Adjt. 
Carruthers stood by the Regiment and its commander with a fidelity 
unequalled, never absent from the head-quarters or from his post of 
duty for over half an hour at a time. During most of this period, 
both officers were constantly engaged in the front line, with the 
Regiment ready for instant service, night and day, often without 
opportunity of laying aside arms or accoutrements, save to unbuckle 
the gear and lay down with the harness on, prepared to repel the 
night attack at the opportune moment. 



1864.] 



ACTION AT COLD HAKBOR, VA. 



287 



The 97th P. V. remained at White House until June 3, furnish- 
ing its portion of the picket force at that place, until ready to march 
to the front. On that day, at 2 P. M., Gen. Ames' division started 
on the march for Cold Harbor, Va. Soon after leaving camp, met 
trains of supply wagons, from Grant's Army, on the way to White 
House for rations ; also ambulances with the wounded from the action 
of the previous day at Cold Harbor. The march was very fatiguing, 
owing to the extreme heat and the dust of the roads. Parties of 
skirmishers were kept out on the flanks during the march. These oc- 
casionally encountered straggling rebel cavalry scouts, capturing 
several by the way. 

After a march of about seventeen miles, reached the lines at Cold 
Harbor at 1 A. M., on the 4th, having halted for over an hour at 
sunset to rest the men and get supper. 




POSITION or GEN. SMITH'S COMMAND AT COLD HABBOR, VA. 



The Regiment went immediately upon duty with Gen. Smith's 
command, in the front line, confronting Gen. Longstreet's Corps. 
Firing commenced soon after daylight; first on the right, then on 
the left; then in our front; attack and repulse, counter attack and 
repulse followed, as had been the case on the previous day; tht; 
battle being renewed with determination, on the part of the rebels, 
to drive our army from its position. The rank and file of this por- 
tion of the Army of the James seemed conscious of their duty and 



288 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. \M^, 

the importance of sustaining their reputation before the army of the 
Potomac, with which it was then for the first time associated in 
battle. Our men stood up to their work with a steadfastness and reso- 
lution seldom equalled. The interval between the lines was covered 
with the dead, dying and maimed soldiers of each army; but the 
firing was so incessant that it was certain death to attempt to reach 
them. The crash and roar of artillery, the rattling of musketry, the 
bright glare of flashing guns, the deep yell and cheer of the charge 
along the line, filled the air with the din of battle almost without 
interruption. 

A succession of battles ensued from the 2d of June to the 6th, the 
heaviest on the 3d, but by no means decisive; neither army be- 
coming master of the field at that time. A short suspension of 
hostilities occurred on June 5, when each side gathered up their 
wounded and buried their dead. The position of the 97th P. V., 
from the time it arrived at Cold Harbor until the withdrawal of the 
troops, on June 12, was one of danger, at the front continually, being 
moved from point to point on the line held by the 18th Corps and 
the 2d division of the 10th, wherever an attack was threatened. 
Bravely and well did the Regiment maintain its reputation for 
courage and efiiciency at all times, the men fulfilling their duty 
promptly and uncomplainingly. 

On the evening of June 4, the Regiment being on duty at the front, 
Maj. Price received orders, from Col. Curtis, of the 142d N. Y., 
commanding 1st brigade, 2d division, and in command of the line, 
to send out a detail of men to fell trees to prevent the enemy ad- 
vancing through the wood. A covering party was also sent out. The 
men were fired upon by the enemy, close in front, as soon as the cut- 
ting commenced. Private Wellington S. Fisher, Company F, with 
the covering party, in attempting to gain the shelter of a stump 
from which to keep up a return fire, was shot and instantly killed 
by a rebel concealed behind the stump he was endeavoring to reach. 
Several . others were wounded. Seeing that further efi"ort would 
result in needless sacrifice of the men, Maj. Price reported the situa- 
tion to Col. Curtis, who ordered the work discontinued. 

While at Cold Harbor, Va., Lieut. Col. Baynton J. Hickman, of 
the 49th P. V., a Chester Countian, visited the Regiment and passed 
several hours at head-quarters, where he was cordially welcomed by 
many friends and associates among the ofiieers and men of the 97th 
P. v., it being quite a rare occurrence, in our experience, to meet 



1864.] 



ACTION AT COLD HARBOR, VA. 



289 




GEN. smith's head-quarters, COLD HARBOR. 



with home friends in the service, owing to having been so long iso- 
lated from Pennsylvania regiments other than the 55th, 76th, 85th 
and lOdth P. V., and those not of our ovs^n district. 

The casualties in the 97th P. V., at Cold Harbor, Va., v^^ere one 
killed and nine vs^ounded, and one man of Company F, missing. 

On June 12, the forces 
at Cold Harbor were with- 
drawn. The Army of the 
Potomac moved toward thq 
James River, which it crossed 
at Wilcox's Landing. The 
18th Corps and the 2d divi- 
sion of the 10th were the 
last to leave Cold Harbor. 
Gen. Smith remained at his 
head-quarters, warily observant of the enemy in his front, until his 
troops were on the march returning to White House Landing. 

They embarked on transports, June 13, and proceeded, via Pa- 
munky and James Rivers, to Point of Rocks, near City Point, where 
the 97th P. V. landed at dark, on the 14th, and marched to the bluff 
near the landing, where it prepared to bivouac for the night. At 9 
P. M., orders were received to join the remainder of the division, 
encamped near the Burnt House, three, miles distant. The march 
occupied until midnight. At 5 o'clock, on the next morning, the 
division was on the return march toward the Appomattox River, by 
the same route the Regiment had taken during the night, passing 
the spot where it had bivouacked, and might have remained resting 
until morning, but for the rec? tape orders that moved it to where 
the division was encamped. 

The troops of Gen. Smith's command crossed the Appomattox, 
on a pontoon bridge, near the lookout signal station, at Point of 
Rocks; then advanced toward Petersburg, in three columns: Gen. 
Martindale's division of the 18th Corps moved upon the right, and 
Gen. W. T. H. Brooks' division, 18th Corps, with the 2d division 
of the 10th, occupied the centre, while Kautz's Cavalry advanced 
upon the extreme left in order to reach the Norfolk and Petersburg 
Railroad. The centre column came on the first lines of the enemy's 
works about five miles from Petersburg. These were carried by 
Gen. Hink's colored troops, with a loss of about sixty-five in killed 
and wounded. Two field pieces and a few prisoners were captured. 
19 



290 



HISTORY OF THE KINETT-SEYENTH REGIMENT. 



[Jane, 




DEFENCES OF RICHMOND AND PETEKSBURG. 



1884] ACTION AT PETERSBURG HEIGHTS. 291 

The march was continued rapidly by the advancing columns until, 
within two and a half miles of Petersburg, the enemy's intrenched 
Hnes were reached, extending from the Appomattox across the range 
of commanding heights near the city, forming a strong line of de- 
fence. The troops were formed in line, under cover of a wood and 
sprout clearings, which skirted the open fields before the enemy's 
works, across which the range was unobstructed. When the line 
had been extended sufficiently, the men were directed to lie down 
and await orders. 

Capt. James' Battery, Company C, 3d E.. I. Art'y, maintained a 
well-directed fire upon the enemy's works during the afternoon. 
A line of skirmishers was sent forward through the clearing to re- 
connoitre the position. The enemy opened fire upon these, by 
which many of the men lying in the wood were wounded ; among 
them several of the 97th P. V. Just before sunset. Gen. Smith 
moved the 18th Corps and the 2d division of the 10th in three 
lines upon the enemy's works. First, a line of skirmishers reached 
and carried some French rifle pits from which the enemy had 
continued to fire until they were close upon them ; then begged for 
quarters. The 97th P. V., in the second "line, advanced upon and 
drove the enemy from the next line of rifle pits; then pushed upon 
the strong earthworks upon the heights, four of which were carried 
in succession by the division and the 18th Corps. The entire force^ 
making a brilliant charge, occupied the earthworks with but little 
loss, capturing four hundred prisoners, sixteen field pieces and con- 
siderable ammunition. 

These works, consisting of a powerful salient, four redoubts, and 
a connecting line of intrenchments, were built in the most sub- 
stantial and approved manner, formidable and impressive, suggestive 
of the wide difference between the positions of assault and defence. 

Capt. James' Battery supported the charge gallantly, keeping up 
an incessant fire until the moment our men reached the crest of 
the earthworks. The force occupying the lines where the charge 
was made were surprised by the suddenness of the advance. Re- 
inforcements were being pushed to the front from the workshops' of 
Petersburg. Some of the prisoners captured had been engaged at 
their usual avocations in the city at noon of that day. Our loss 
was comparatively small, owing mainly to the well-directed fire of 
Capt. James' Battery, keeping the enemy from firing. 

The importance of this line of works could only be appreciated by 



292 



HISTORY OP THE NINETY-SEVENTH EEGIMENT. 



[June, 



those who examined it. Those who participated in the capture feel 
confident that it was one of the most brilliant successes. of the war. 
They will always have a pride in their share therein. 

Gen, Smith, satisfied with his success, rested his forces until morn- 
ing, notwithstanding the clearness and brightness of the full moon 
favored a continuance of the advance before the enemy could be re- 
inforced from Richmond and Lee's Army. Gen. Hancock, with two 
divisions of the 2d Corps, forming the van guard of the Army of the 
Potomac, came up at nightfall, and, courteously waiving seniority, 
tendered his force to Gen. Smith, who put part of it into the cap- 
tured works, relieving his own troops, but made no further advance. 
Gen. Hancock, who had not, up to 5 P. M. of that day, been ap- 
prized that Petersburg was to be assaulted, had lost some hours of 
the morning waiting for rations, and some further time had been 

lost in marching, by an inaccurate 
map taking him too far to the left. 

After the earthworks on the 
heights had been captured, the 97th 
P. V. moved to the right, and occu- 
pied the heights at Dr. Friend's 
house, an eminence overlooking the 
city of Petersburg and the inter- 
vening country; two lines of the 
enemy being in plain view, the next 
morning, at the foot of the slope. 
During the night, the reverse face of the hill was intrenched, 
which occupied the troops until morning. Advance parties were sent 
forward, during the early part of the night, to ascertain the position 
of the enemy. They were able to proceed for a considerable dis- 
tance, encountering only straggling parties, a few of whom were 
captured. Later in the night, the rebel lines were re-established 
at a short distance in our front. Before morning, a very different 
enemy confronted and menaced the advance upon Petersburg. 

The van of Lee's veterans was now before us. By their arrival, 
the fall of Petersburg, so imminent and so possible the evening 
before, was now indefinitely postponed. 

Early on the morning of the 16th, a line of skirmishers with 
strong support, dashed rapidly forward, from Gen. Smith's lines, 
near Friend's house, to intercept and capture a rebel force, occupy- 
ing a position behind some buildings on the banks of Harrison's 




DB. FEIENDB HOTTBE. 



1864.] 



ACTION AT PETERSBURG HEIGHTS. 



293 



creek, three hundred yards distant. They were met by a severe fire 
from the enemy which caused the line to waver. Seeing the peril of 
the situation and the need of encouragement, the boys of the 97th 
P. V. arose in the trenches and sent forth hearty cheers. The line 
then dashed forward again and carried the position, capturing over 
two hundred prisoners. The batteries at Friend's house had, by a, 
well-directed fire, routed this force from the adjacent trenches, to 
seek concealment behind the bank and the buildings. 

The day following being excessively hot, and the men exhausted 
by previous marches, there was no further advance made. Occa- 
sional firing was kept up between the skirmish lines of the opposing 
forces. 

During the 16th, Gen, Warren, with the 5th Corps, and Gen. 
Burnside, with the 9th, came up, followed by the greater part of the 
Army of the Potomac. 

Gen. Smith now occupied the right, reaching from the Appomat- 
tox to the heights just beyond Friend's house. Burnside, War- 
ren and Hancock extended the line toward the left, with Kautz's 
Cavalry covering the flank. 

Gen. Meade, having 
made this disposition of 
his army, returned to 
City Point for consulta- 
tion with Gen. Grant, at 
his head-quarters. Gen. 
Meade, at 2 P. M., was 
again at the front, making 
preparations for a general 

assault, which was delivered at 6 P. M. Hancock's, Burn side's and 
part Qf Warren's Corps went forward, facing bravely a terrible fire 
from a sheltered and formidable foe. 

A night of combat and carnage resulted in a general advance 
of our lines at heavy cost. Maj. Gen. Birney's division of the 
2d Corps had stormed and carried the ridge in his front, while 
Burnside, repelled at first by the deadly fire he encountered, 
carried, at daylight, the outwork defying him, capturing four guns 
and four hundred prisoners. Brig. Gen. Robert B. Potter's division, 
which made this desperate charge, was now relieved by Brig. Gen. 
James H. Ledlie's, which pushed Burnside's advance still further to 
a point within a mile and a half of the city. At other points, there 




GEN. grant's HEAD-QUARTKKS AT CITY POINT. 



294 HISTOBl OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. [June, 

had been less progress, which left part of Burnside's position pro- 
jected somewhat through the enemy's otherwise continuous lines- 
Upon this projection, the next night, the enemy made a most 
vigorous assault, driving Burnside's forces back with heavy loss. 

At 5. P. M., on the 16th, the brigade was ordered to the support 
of the 2d Corps, engaged in an assault on the left of the line. The 
97th P. V. reached its destination about 9 P. M., in time to support 
the advance made by Hancock's troops, and relieved a force that 
had driven the enemy about half a mile through the woods, across 
ravines and gullies to a point near an old rebel camp of log huts. 
It was requisite to move cautiously and avoid any exposure, as the 
enemy was in close proximity to our position in a strong line of 
intrenchments. The remainder of the night was spent in reversing 
and strengthening the works captured. This was accomplished 
under a heavy fire, but the Regiment escaped without casualties. 

On the morning of the 17th, it was found that the line was so 
close to the enemy, and so much exposed, as to render it difficult to 
relieve the line in the usual manner by daylight. The relieving 
force found shelter under the crest of rising ground in the rear. 
An orderly reached Maj. Price, with verbal directions to him to 
have his men get back into the rear line the best way they could. 
The orderly was then asked: "Where is the force that is to reheve 
the Eegimenf?" The answer was: "Lying back there, over the 
ridge." Maj. Price replied: "They must come in here before we 
go out, for the 97th Regiment will never leave this line empty 
without a written order from the officer in command." The written 
order was brought. Maj. Price then went along the line and ex- 
plained to the men that, at a signal from him, they must all spring 
out of the trenches and back into the next line, which was accom- 
plished with slight casualties, several making narrow escapes.. Pri- 
vate J. J. Still, Company C, being struck, it was thought he was 
killed; but, when pulled over the ridge into safety, it was found the 
ball had entered his cartridge-box, glancing off without causing 
much injury. The relieving force then ran forward into the line. 

A detachment of the 2d Corps relieved the brigade at 8 A. M. 
The most of the regiments rested during the day, a short distance in 
rear of the line, it being deemed advisable to keep the force near at 
hand in case of attack. A heavy advance picket was thrown for- 
ward to drive the rebel pickets from their position in front of 
Friend's house, on the old race course, near Petersburg, from which 



^^^■^ THE ADVANCE AGAINST PETERSBURG. 295 

quarter an attack by the enemy was anticipated. Capt. W. S. Men- 
denhall was in command of the detail from the 3d brigade, consist- 
ing of Companies D and G of the 97th P. V., and other companies 
of the brigade, in all about three hundred men.* They advanced 
and drove the enemy from their rifle pits in the cornfield, and 
occupied the entire valley. This force was subjected to a heavy 
fire during most of the day. The men found shelter in pits dug 
with their bayonets, taking advantage of every favorable point in 
the ground. Capt. 'Mendenhall's force was relieved, later in the 
evening, by a detail from the 6th Corps, when he was directed by an 
aid-de-camp to report at Friend's house for instructions. He there 
learned that the division was on the march toward Bermuda Hun- 
dred, it having been ordered to rejoin the 10th Corps at that place- 
The march of the division commenced about 9 P. M. Heavy mus- 
ketry firing was heard along the entire line, while moving to the 
right, indicating a still further advance upon the enemy's lines. 
Capt. Mendenhall's detachment overtook the Regiment just after 
it had crossed the pontoon bridge near Point of Rocks. The divi- 
sion arrived at the intrenchments near Foster Place at midnight and 
encamped, the men being worn out with their long night's march, 
continuous hard work in the trenches, and in action at the front, 
having lost much rest during several successive nights. The Regi- 
ment continued to furnish its portion of the pickets with the other 
troops stationed at Bermuda Hundred. 

A number of sick men who had been left in the field hospital and 
at City Point Hospital, when the Regiment was ordered to Cold 
Harbor, now rejoined it. With them came Elwood P. Baldwin, 
formerly 1st lieutenant of Company H, who had resigned in No- 
vember, 1862, and returned home on account of sickness. He had 
recovgred and retutned to the Regiment, having re-enlisted as a 
private in his old company. In a short time, he was detailed for 
duty in the brigade commissary department, and afterward received 
promotion. 

Col. H. R. Guss having tendered his resignation to the command- 
ing general, on account of the manifest injustice exhibited toward 
him, by a commanding officer, received notice of its acceptance on 
June 23. It would not be proper to give in detail an account of 



*Capt. Mendeahall thinks that another company of the 9Uh P. V. was with 
him, either B or K, but his recollection is not clear upon this point. 



296 HISTOET OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. C''^""''' 

the want of fairness with which this faithful and efficient officer was 
persistently treated during most of the period subsequent to his re- 
suming command of the brigade at Drury's Bluff, May 14. It cul- 
minated in his being relieved of his command, on the march to 
;■ Cold Harbor, Va., June 4, under circumstances indicating the deter- 
' mination arri,ved at to fill his place with a personal favorite, his 
junior in rank and inferior in qualification, under whose command 
Col. Guss was ordered to resume the command of his Regiment. 

Conscious of the undeserved humiliation intended, self-respect 
demanded that he adopt the only course left him consistent with 
his untarnished honor. 

Before parting with their beloved colonel and brigade commander, 
the officers of his regiment united in a testimonial, expressive of 
their regard and sincere regret, yet recognizing the necessity 
of the course determined upon as the only one possible under the 
circumstances. The following letter, transmitting the enclosed tes- 
timonial, was addressed to Col. Guss by the adjutant of the Regi- 
ment: 

Head-Quarters QVth Pa. Yols., in the Field, near Bermuda Hundred, Va., 

June 23, 1864. 
Colonel Henry R. Guss, 9'7th Pa. Vols. 

Colonel: I have the honor, on behalf of the officers of your Regiment, to 
transmit the enclosed expression of their esteem and regard for you, as a gentle- 
man and a soldier, which was gotten up, in a hasty manner, upon learning that 
you had resigned your commission as colonel of the 97th Regiment. 

They regi'et that their situation in the field prevents them, at this time, from 
transmitting you a more solid testimonial. 

Permit me, for myself, to say that — inasmuch as I have served with you so 
long, in more than one campaign, at the same time with uninterrupted harmony 
and good-fellowship — your resignation severs an official tie which has heretofore 
mingled pleasure with duly. 

Having been so intimate with you, and on your personal staff for so long a 
period, I shall feel and regret your absence more, perhaps, than any on^ else. 

I wish you success in any and every sphere of life in which you may engage, 
and sincerely hope that "All your ways may be ways of pleasantness, and all 
your paths be peace." 

I remain, Colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

Henry W. Carruthebs, 

Adjt. 97th Pa. Vols. 

Head-Quarters 97th Pa. Vols., in the Field, near Bermuda Hundred, Va., 

June 23, 1864. 
Colonel Henry R. Guss, 97th Pa. Vols. 
Colonel: We, the undersigned, commissioned officers of the 97th Pa. Vols., 



18**-1 TESTIMONIAL TO COLONEL H. R. GUSS. 297 

present with the Regiment, learn, with deep regret, that you have resigned your 
commission as Colonel of the Regiment. 

Permit us, therefore, your comrades in arms, upon the eve of this separation, 
to express to you, in a hasty but most sincere manner, our high regard for and 
appreciation of your social qualities as a gentleman, and your ability and gal- 
lantry as a soldier and an officer. 

For nearly three years. Colonel, we have marched shoulder to shoulder amid 
the ravages of battle and disease; together we have toiled and labored hard, un- 
dergone exposures and hardships which the uninitiated know not of; but we 
never yet have had occasion to regret the day or the hour when the standard of 
the Regiment was delivered to us and you assumed the high and arduous re- 
sponsibility of Commandant of the Regiment. 

We have become attached to you not July for your noble and manly attributes; 
but the further fact that the Regiment was recruited and organized under your 
auspices, has drawn us more closely to you. It is, therefore, with no feigned 
regret that we submit to your withdrawal from our midst at the present moment. 
Allow us to add that the causes which induced you to resign are not unknown 
to us, and, although we wish you to remain with us until the expiration of the 
term of the Regiment, we nevertheless see in this an indication of spirit and 
manliness which will not brook dishonor, and is, therefore, to be admired and imi- 
tated. 

In laying down the sword and returning to the duties of civil life, we beg you 
to take with you. Colonel, our best wishes for long life, happiness and prosperity, 
and our assurances that you will ever be kindly remembered by the officers and 
soldiers of your old command. 

We have the honor to be. Colonel, 

Very respectfully, your obedient servants, 

Isaiah Price, Major Qlth P. V.. Comd'g Regt. 

Henry W. Carruthebs, Capt. 97th P. V. and Adjt. Regt. 

John R. Everhart, Surgeon 9Hh P. V. 

William C. Morrison, Asst. Surgeon 97th P. V. 

William S. Mendenhall, Capt. 97th P. V., Comd'g Co. D. 

G. W. Hawkins, Capt. 97th P. V., Comd'g Co. I. 

Caleb Hoopes, Capt. 97th P. V,, Comd'g Co. G. 

Samuel V. Black, 'C apt. 97th P. V., Comd'g Co. K. 

John McGrath, 1st Lieut. 97th P. V., Co. E. 

Francis J. Eachus, 1st Lieut. 97th P. V., Co. C. 

John Wainwright, 1st Lieut. 97th P. V., Co. F. 

Gasway 0. Tarnall, 1st Lieut. 97th P. V., Co. G. 

James T. Skiles, 1st Lieut. 97th P. V., Co. B. 

Levi L. March, 1st Lieut. 97th P. V., Co. K. 

William H. Eves, 2d Lieut. 97th P. V., Co. G. 

James McWilliams, 2d Lieut. 97th P. V.. Co. E. 

Thomas CosGRiFr, 2d Lieut. 97th P. V., Co. F. 

Isaac J. Bdrton, 2d Lieut. 97th P. V., Co. A. 

George W. Duffee, 2d Lieut. 97th P. V., Co. I. 

Jacob G. Lowry, 2d Lieut. 97th P. V., Co. B. 

Henry Kauffman, Jr., 2d Lieut. 97th P. V., Co. C. 



298 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. [J"°e. 

Col. Guss accordingly prepared to return home, parting with the 
officers and men on the evening of June 23, 1864, as the Regiment 
marched out of camp at Bermuda Hundred, to cross the Appo- 
mattox. The feeling of 'sadness and regret was universal. In the 
departure of their beloved commander, each man was conscious of 
losing one who had been also as a father and friend to all. Before 
leaving the department, Col. Guss addressed the following letter of 
farewell to the Regiment: 

Head-Quarters 91th Pa. Vols., in the Field, near Point of Eocks, Va., 

June 23, 1864. 
To the Ofpicebs and Men of the 97th P. Y. 

Fellow Soldiers: Iinpolled by reasons which my sense of honor as a man, 
and my good name as a soldier, would not permit me to disregard, I tendered 
ray resignation as Colonel of this Regiment. That resignation, as you know, has 
been accepted by the major general commanding, and before you see this letter 
I shall be on my way home. 

I earnestly desired to say a few words to you as an organization before I left, 
but want of time, and the fact that you were under arms and preparing to march 
to meet the enemy, prevented me from doing more than merely clasping the 
hands of a part of your number. 

You will pardon me, therefore, for not bidding you a formal good-bye, but I 
beg to assure you that you will always be kindly and affectionately remembered 
by me. Although I am separated from you, I can truthfully say that my in- 
terest in you, and in your success in your future career during this fierce and 
mighty struggle for Liberty and Union, will not cease. I shall watch your course 
and your actions with the same eagerness and the same solicitude as ever. 

From experience, I know that yon will do your duty wherever you may be as- 
signed and it is my sincere wish and prayer that you may pass through this stern 
ordeal of battle and toil in safety and with honor. And when your term of ser. 
vice has expired, I can assure you that no one will be more delighted than myself 
to welcome you back to home and friends. 

Having organized the Regiment, and served with it so long, I think I have a 
right to feel a just pride in you and in the services you have rendered to your 
country, in the camp and in the field, and, therefore, so much the more do 1 leave 
you with deep and sincere regret. 

I congratulate you all, officers and men, for the reputation you have achieved 
for gallantry and discipline, and I thank you all for your courtesy and kindness 
toward me and for your flattering expressions of regret at my separation from 
you. 

Again wishing you success and good fortune in your future career, I remain, 
Your sincere friend and well wisher, 

Henry R. Gtjss. 



1^^*] THE ADVANCE AGAINST PETERSBURG. 299 




CHAPTER X. 

Cemetery Hill; Petersburg Mine; Wier Bottom Church; Deep 
Bottom; New Market Heights; Strawberry Plains; Fort 
Gilmer; Darbytown Road; Charles City Road; Darbytown; 
Chapin's Farm; June 23 to December 2, 1864. 

EFORE the acceptance of the resignation that separated 
the 97th P. V. from their beloved commander, it was 
known to the troops of the 10th Corps that their com- 
manding general, Quincy A. Gilhnore, had appHed to 
be relieved from* the command thereof, which being ap- 
proved, that officer left the department about Ja miajy 
18, 1864, to the great regret of the entire corps, the 
officers and men of which had the most implicit confi- 
dence in his abilities and skill. Brig. Gen. W. H. T. 
Brooks, commanding a division of the 18th Corps, was temporarily 
assigned to the command of the 10th Corps, which he retained until 
the acceptance of his resignation, near the middle of July. 

Gen. Ames was now relieved of the command of the 2d division 
and assigned to duty with the 18th Corps, and Brig. Gen. John W. 
Turner, who had commanded the 3d division of the 10th Corps, was 
placed in command of the 2d division, which had now received the' 
appellation of the "Flying Division." It was not permitted to 
remain long with the corps. Orders were received to return to 
duty with the 18th Corps, in front of Petersburg. 

Soon after Col. Guss had taken leave of the Regiment, the divi- 
sion moved out of camp and crossed the Appomattox; then, owing 
to the mistake of the guide, marched by a circuitous route nearly 
all night, reaching the front at 2.30 A. M. on the 24th. The divi- 
sion relieved a portion of the 9th Corps, the 97th P. V. occupying 
a position in front of Cemetery Hill ; continued in the front line 
of intrenchments, alternately with other regiments of the command, 
one week at a time; then changed to the second line a few yards in 




300 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. ["^"°6. 

rear of the first, both being con- 
stantly under fire. Casualties most 
often occurred in the second line. 
Almost constant firing was kept up 
between the pickets, whose position 
was in close range of each other. 
Safety was only secured by erecting 
bullet-proof shelter of logs in the 
woods and by digging gopher holes 
in the hillsides. 

BULLET-PKooF IN THE WOOD. Froquont night attacks occurred, 

the enemy advancing under cover 
of the darkness, for the purpose of capturing the pickets, requiring 
constant vigilance to thwart their designs. The incessant fire 
rendered it unsafe at any time to venture from the shelter of the 
earthworks and bombproofs. Many were killed and wounded, while 
walking about in rear of the lines, by shot from the enemy aimed 
at men in the front lines. Mortar shell were daily thrown by the 
enemy along portions of the line with considerable effect, the range 
being remarkably accurate. A return fire by our mortars generally 
resulted in silencing the enemy's fire. There was no cessation of 
active service for any of the troops in the trenches during the 
period from June 24 until the end of July. During this time, 
neither officers nor men could remove their clothing for rest or lay 
aside their arms and accoutrements ; these were required, by order, 
to be kept constantly ready for instant service. 

A detail of sharp-shooters was made from the 97th P, V. on June 
27, the best marksmen of each company being selected for this 
arduous and dangerous service. A pioneer corps was also detailed 
from the Regiment, under command of Lieut. Eves, of Company G. 
They were engaged in repairing roads, removing obstructions and 
in perfecting the defences of the lines. 

At night, the men lay with their arms beside them in the trenches, 
one-half of the force being kept awake, during half the night, while 
the remainder slept, the others in turn keeping watch until morntag. 
The intrenched lines extended several miles to the left, parallel in 
many places, only a few yards distant from each other. At com- 
manding points, most elaborate earthworks were constructed; those 
then completed were Forts McGilvery, Steadman and Haskell; later 
operations extended the line to Fort Sedgwick and beyond the 



1864] 



ACTION AT CEMETERY HILL. 



301 




INTERIOR OF FORT BTBADMAN. 



Jerusalem Plank Road. 
Forts Steadman and 
Sedgwick were par- 
ticularly hot places. 
To the latter the men 
gave the name of Fort 
Hell, when, not to be 
outdone, the rebels 
called Fort Mahone, 
vis-a-vis to the other. 
Fort Damnation. A 
view of the former lo- 
cality is here given. 

On June 30, an advance was ordered upon the enemy's works, 
near Cemetery Hill, for the purpose of engaging the attention of 
the rebels, while a larger force, under Col. William B. Barton, 
48th N. Y., commanding the 2d brigade, 2d division, was to assault 
the enemy's works to the right of the hill. One hundred men of 
the 97th P. Y., with three hundred detailed from the 169th N. Y., 
the 4th N H., the 9th Maine and the 13th Ind., all under command 
of Capt. W. S. Mendenhall, Company D, 97th P. V., moved by 
the flank from the line of intrenchments at 5 P. M., passing a strip 
of woods and meadow, and reached the cover of a steep bank upon 
which the advanced pickets were stationed. Halting at a point 
where Col. Barton's position could be observed, Capt. Mendenhall 
formed his line of battle: the 97th P. V. and 13th Ind. on the 
right, 9th Maine and 4th N. H. in the centre, and the 169th N. Y. 
on the left; then, charging up the hill and across an open field, 
the wood beyond was gained. A brisk fire was then opened by this 
force on the rebel lines, a few yards distant. The fire was sharply 
returned by the enemy. Capt. Mendenhall held his position, de- 
livering a rapid fire on the enemy. Meanwhile, Col. Barton's force 
had not advanced. The situation of the detachment was becoming 
critical. It had gained and was holding the position to which it 
had been ordered. Still no advance was made on the right. The 
rebels concentrated all their force in front and, under cover of the 
adjoining wood, had throvni a regiment upon the left flank of the 
detachment, which opened a terrible fire along the line. The men 
of the 9th Maine broke from the line; a few others followed, them 
but were rallied immediately; the remainder stood manfully to 



302 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. [Sxnxe, 

their work. The 169 th N. Y. closed up the gap left by the 9th 
Maine. The line then advanced to a better position, from which a 
steady and determined fire was opened upon the force assailing the 
flank, obliging it to seek the shelter of the earthworks. This posi- 
tion was maintained until 7 P. M., when Capt. Mendenhall's force 
was relieved by a larger one. Five officers and one hundred and 
fifty men were killed and wounded. The 97th P. V. lost three 
killed and nineteen wounded. Sergt. John A. Russell and Privates 
Hezekiah Andy, Company H, and William De Faux, Company G, 
were killed. Privates Charles S. Cloud, Company D, and William T. 
Lovell, Company H, being mortally wounded, died within a short 
time after reaching the hospital. A detail, under Lieut. Levi L. 
March, Company K, carried the dead and the wounded from the 
field, while Capt. Mendenhall held the position. During the ensuing 
night, the enemy kept up an incessant firing. The mortar batteries 
of both sides were used with great effect and many casualties oc- 
curred. The position thus gained was held by our forces and was 
regarded of considerable importance. A sap was run along the 
slope, covering the rebel lines in our front, causing the enemy much 
annoyance. 

Col. Barton, for reasons in which he was subsequently sustained, 
decided not to make the attack as contemplated. The loss and 
jeopardy to the detachment, therefore, except so far as the advan- 
tage of the position gained, became a needless sacrifice. 

Private John T. Conway, Company E, captured May 20, 1864, 
died, June 30, in. the rebel prison pen at Andersonville, Ga. 

The casualties, after returning to the Petersburg front, on June 24, 
in addition to the loss in the assault of June 30, were six killed and 
eight wounded, a total of thirty-six. Among the wounded was 
Principal Musician James J. Wilson, recently promoted from Com- 
pany C. He became footsore on the night march of June 23, and 
fell behind. The provost guard, gathering up the stragglers, com- 
pelled him to go upon duty with these in the front line, where he 
was severely wounded, and was sent to the hospital at Fortress 
Monroe, Va., and remained until the expiration of his term of 
service, unable to rejoin his regiment. In this instance, the orders 
of the guard were executed with undue and arbitrary severity upon 
as brave and faithful a soldier as there was in the ranks of any 
regiment in the service. He had never shrunk from any duty ! On 
the contrary, in every instance in which his company or regiment 



1864.] OPERATIONS AGAINST PETERSBURG. 303 

was engaged, though excused as a musician from bearing arms, he 
always sought, of his commanding officer, permission to take a 
musket and go to the front. 

The work of strengthening and rendering secure the lines was 
constantly going on. The earthworks were models of construction, 
the result of the untiring industry of the men. Strong and impas- 
sable abattis covered the front along almost its entire extent, the 
tops and branches of trees being firmly planted in the ground and 
so interlocked as to form a perfect defence against a charge. 



EAKTHWORKB AND ABATTIS. 



1st Lieut. G. O. Yarnall, Company G, was detailed, about July 
1, as acting ordnance officer of the artillery brigade of the 10th 
Corps and was stationed at Point of Rocks. He continued upon 
this duty until mustered out of service in October following. 

A convalescent camp was established about half a mile east of 
Petersburg Heights, to which the men of the division, who were 
slightly wounded, sick or otherwise temporarily unfit for duty, were 
sent for treatment. Three hundred was the average number re- 
ceived. 1st Lieut. George W. Duffee, of Company I, was placed 
in command of this camp, retaining it until the division was 
ordered to Bermuda Hundred in August. 

About the middle of July, commissions were received for the fol- 
lowing officers, viz.: 2d Lieut. Henry Odiorne, Company D, to be 
1st lieutenant, vice Fawkes, killed; 1st Sergt. Charles H. Hannum, 
same company, to be 2d lieutenant, vice Odiorne, promoted; 2d 



304 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH KEGIMENT. [Ju'y. 

Lieut. Levi L. March, Company K, to be 1st lieutenant, vice 
Black, promoted. All of these were immediately mustered, except- 
ing Hannum, who declined promotion, desiring to be mustered out at 
the expiration of his term. Promotion was then offered to Sergt. 
Isaac B. Taylor, who accepted and was mustered. A commission 
for 1st Sergt. William S. Underwood, Company K, as 2d lieute- 
nant, had been sent for at the same time, but it had miscarried and 
was not received for several months. 

On the afternoon of the 8th, the enemy made a charge on the 
right of our line, advancing about one hundred yards. An effective 
fire being opened on them, they retired without effecting their pur- 
pose. Heavy firing continued along the entire line for over an hour. 

Lieut. William H. Eves, while on duty at the front, on the night 
of the 10th, with his pioneer corps, was slightly wounded in the 
right knee, but he remained at the front and completed the work 
upon which he was engaged. 

About July 15, Lieut. Col. (since brevet brigadier general) Wil- 
liam L. James, chief quarter-master of Gen. Butler's staff, accom- 
panied by his father, Hickman James, Eber D. Haines, Jesse J. 
Bailey and Jackson Sergeant, all of West Chester, spent the day 
at the front with their friends, by whom they were cordially wel- 
comed. After partaking of camp fare at head-quarters, they visited 
the front line of pickets. Hickman James, desiring a still nearer 
view and the chance of a shot, crawled forward into one of the 
gopher holes and drew a bead on an unfortunate enemy of his 
country and came back quite satisfied. Our friends were pressingly 
invited to spend the night at the front. A grand display of shell 
and other fireworks was promised from the enemy's batteries, with 
assurances of safety under the bombproof shelter; but somehow the 
fireworks did not seem to be sufllciently attractive, and they left us 
toward evening. 

In searching for the Regiment, in the morning, Lieut. Col. James 
reached an open space exposed to the fire of the enemy, and was 
observed standing at a spot of great danger looking toward the 
front lines, when a call apprised him of his peril. He did not 
back out, but came right on, having recognized the voice. The 
others reached the lines by a more safe route. 

About the same time, Maj. Emmor B. Cope, formerly of Company 
A, 1st Regiment Pennsylvania Reserves, recently promoted, and 
then an aid-de-camp upon the staff of Maj. Gen. Warren, com- 



1864. J VISITORS FROM WEST CHESTER. 305 

manding the 5th Corps, which occupied the trenches upon the left 
of Gen. Burnside's position, visited the Regiment, accompanied by 
Dr. J. K. Warren, of West Chester, a cousin of Gen. Warren, and 
Capt. Paul F. Whitehead, Company I, 68th P. V. (Scott Legion), 
on duty at head-quarters of the Army of the Potomac. They were 
warmly welcomed by many friends in the 97th P. V. 

Capt. (since lieutenant colonel) Hufty, 9th N. J., 18th Corps, and 
formerly of the 9th P. V., in the three months' service, came fre- 
quently to visit many of his old friends in the Regiment. 

A thirteen-inch mortar had been placed in position, by the 18th 
Corps, which, on the 18th, opened on the enemy's works with great 
effect. 

Firing continued on the 19 th on both sides. The thirteen-inch 
mortar threw its immense shell across the river upon the enemy's 
batteries and into Petersburg. It was reported that one thirteen- 
inch shell had exploded a caisson of the enemy and burned the 
Weldon Railroad depot in the city. There were many casualties 
on both sides. The continuous roar of artillery was terrific. 

On the 21st, the batteries were again engaged, followed by severe 
musketry firing along the line. 

On the night of the 21st, Lieut. Isaac J. Burton was wounded, 
in the right hand, as he was placing a gabion in position in the 
sap; though exceedingly painful, he remained upon duty at the 
front until the detail was relieved. 

Gen. E. O. C. Ord was assigned to the command of the 18th 
Corps, on July 22, relieving Gen. John H. Martindale. 

Upon the resignation of Gen. Brooks, July 15, Gen. A. H. 
Terry was temporarily placed in command. Maj. Gen. David B. 
Birney, commanding the 3d division of the 2d Corps, was assigned 
to the command of the 10th Corps on July 22, 1864. 

About July 27, the 97th P. V. was transferred from the 3d bri- 
gade, 2d division, to the 2d brigade, same division, exchanging 
position with the 1 15th N. Y. It constituted a part of that divi- 
sion during the remainder of the war. The brigade consisted of 
the 47th and 48th N. Y., the 76th and 97th P. V., and was 
commanded by Lieut. Col. William B. Coan, 48th N. Y., during 
the temporary absence of Col. William B. Barton, 48th N Y. 

Rev. David W. Moore, pastor of the Presbyterian Church at 
Centreville, Delaware, having received the appointment of chaplain, 
joined the Regiment, near Petersburg, Va., on July 16, 1864. 
20 



306 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. ^■^^^^' 

The enemy were shelling our Hnes most vigorously. To one not 
accustomed to such close proximity to the front, this was an expe- 
rience both novel and startling, calculated to test the nerves of the 
bravest men. The day after his arrival, being Sunday, Col. Bell, 
commanding brigade, requested Chaplain Moore to hold service at 
brigade head-quarters, in the second line of works. This had just 
commenced when, in the midst of the prayer, a shell exploded over- 
head, sending its fragments crashing down among the worshipers- 
It wLs a severe ordeal for the chaplain; yet he scarcely quailed, 
while some of the old soldiers could not help instinctively crawUng 
for cover. Several pieces of the shell struck quite close to the con- 
gregation; one piece struck and slightly wounded one of the staff 
officers. The chaplain continued the service with firmness and 
fervor to the end. Rarely, perhaps, has any one officiated in an 
inaugural service deserving so well the appellation of the "baptism 
of fire." From that time forward he was regarded as the plucky 
chaplain. He soon became much interested in the members of the 
Regiment, and, by his faithfulness and kindly care for his charge, 
won the respect and confidence of both officers and men. 

About 8 P. M., on the 29th, the 2d division, 10th Corps, was re- 
lieved from duty in the intrenchments by a part of the 18th Corps, 
and was ordered to join the forces preparing for an assault upon 
the enemy's works, at Gen. Burnside's position, on the 30th, when 
the mine explosion was to take place. A brief account of this en- 
terprise is obtained from the report of Lieut. Col. Pleasants, 48th 
P. v., who conceived and executed the idea of mining and blowing 
up a battery of the enemy, the men of his regiment being mostly 
coal miners and well adapted to the work. He says : 

"The gallery was commenced at 12 M., June 25, 1864, without tools, lumber 
or any of the material requisite for such work. The miniug picks were made 
of those used by our pioneers. Plank was obtained by tearing down a rebel 
bridge, and afterward by sending to a sawmill five or six miles distant. The 
material excavated was carried out on hand-barrows constructed of cracker 
boxes. The work progressed rapidly until the 2d of July, when it reached 
extremely bad ground — the timbers gave away, and the roof and floor of the gal- 
lery nearly met — retimbered it and started again — from this point had to exca- 
vate a stratum of marl, whose consistency was like putty and which caused our 
progress to be necessarily slow. To avoid this, an inclined plane was started, 
and in one hundred feet rose about thirteen and a half feet perpendicular. 

"On July n, the main gallery was completed, being five hundred and one 
and eight-tenths feet in length. The enemy having obtained information of the 



1864.] 



ACTION AT PETERSBURG MINE, VA. 



307 




OUTLINE OF THE OUATBR AND MAGAZINES. 



miae, cornnienced searching for it. Orders were issued to stop operations, which 
were, however, reeommenced (»n the following day, by starting the left lateral 
gallery. At 6 P., M. on 
the same day, commenced 
the right lateral gallery. 
As the enemy could plainly 
be heard working over us 
in the fort, the gallery 
was excavated a little be- 
yond tad in the rear of 
their works, and gave to 
it a curved line of direc- 
tion. The left lateral gal- 
lery was stopped at mid- 
night, July 22. 

"The right lateral gallery, being thirty-eight feet long, was stopped at 6 P. 
M., July 2.3. The mine could have been charged and exploded at this time. The 
men were employed from that time in draining, timbering and placing eight maga 
ziues in position, and having received the order to charge the mine, on July 27 
the powder was commenced to be placed in at 4 P. M., and finished at 10 P. M' 
The tamping was then begun, and completed by 6 P. M. on the 28th. The 
charge consisted of three hundred and twenty kegs of powder, each containing 
twenty-five pounds — eight thousand pounds in all. The size of the crater formed 
by the explosion was at least two hundred feet long, fifty feet wide, and iwenty- 
five feet deep." 

The 2d division marched about three miles to the left, to a point 
near Gen. Burnside's head-quarters, where it bivouacked in a field, 
where a large force was concentrated in column by division closed 
in mass. The troops lay upon their arms until near 4 A. M., when 
orders were passed along the column to move quietly toward the 
front. Moving through a wood, passed the camps of large numbers 
of troops preparing to move forward. Beyond the wood, in an open 
space in rear of the line of batteries commanding the rebel posi- 
tion, the division was halted and closed in mass in regimental front ; 
then lay upon their arms, awaiting further orders. It was designed 
to fire the mine at 3.30 A. M., at which time the match was ap- 
plied, but the expected result did not occur. After waiting a con- 
siderable time, 1st Lieut. Jacob Douty, Company K, 48th P. V., 
and Sergt. Henry Reese, since 2d lieutenant of same company, ven- 
tured into the gallery, detected and removed the cause of failure. 

At 4.45 A. M., the match was reapplied and the fuse slowly 
burned its way to the mine. Suddenly the earth seemed to tremble, 
then a heavy shock, followed by rumbling like aistant thunder, a 



308 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. f^"'?' 

dense mass of smoke and flying fragments arose in the air, envelop- 
ing the rebel position, indicating the successful explosion of the 
mine. The entire work Avas demolished and the force of near 
twelve hundred men buried in the ruins. The storming party, a 
small force, advanced from its position beyond the lines and occupied 
the demolished works, capturing a large number of prisoners from 
the adjacent lines, and many half buried in the ruins were released 
from their peril and fright. The rebels on each side of the works 
hastily left their places in fear of other explosions. The advance, 
for a time, met no opposition from the rebel force, panic stricken at 
the disaster. 

Gen. Ledlie's division of the 9th Corps entered the crater im- 
mediately after the explosion, and was expected to advance rapidly 
upon the ridge beyond ; but became disorganized at the fire, which 
was soon opened upon them, from the batteries on the right and 
left of the position, and from a battery near Cemetery Hill. 

Another division, thrown forward, failed to get much beyond the 
crater, and a third sent forward did not reach the crest of the rebel 
batteries at Cemetery Hill. Instead of the almost uninterrupted 
occupation of a large portion of the enemy's line, that might have 
immediately followed the surprise and panic into which the enemy 
were thrown, our advance, an hour later, met a most stubborn re- 
sistance and final defeat. The troops advanced for a short distance, 
on the right and left of the crater, driving the rebels into their 
third line of works with but little opposition; but, owing to a want 
of concerted action, the enemy was not pressed vigorously from 
their position. The rebel commanders, perceiving this, made a de- 
termined stand and soon commenced to drive back the assaulting 
forces. Meanwhile, the troops, massed in the rear of the batteries, 
lay awaiting orders to move. The heavy guns along the entire line 
had opened fire immediately after the explosion, which continued 
during most of the action. 

The order came at last to advance these forces in support of the 
assault; but the distance and the obstructions to the march, which 
was by the flank through narrow defiles of approaches, under the 
enemy's fire, by which the ravine was enfiladed right and left, 
caused much delay before the troops reached a position from which 
they could charge upon the enemy's lines. Had this movement 
been made during the night — concentrating the entire force of thirty 
thousand men halted in rear of the batteries — at the point from 



1864.1 



ACTION" AT PETERSBURG MINE, VA. 309 



which they finally charged upon the enemy, the day's record would 
have differed widely in its results. 

While passing the defile, Gen. Grant went forward along the 
line toward the crater. It was the first opportunity many of the 
men had of seeing the commander-in-chief of the army. Having 
reached the rising ground toward the rebel lines, the troops were 
again formed in regimental front. The battle was now raging hotly 
and our men falling rapidly under the fire of musketry to which the 
position was exposed. The 97th P. V., being on the left of the bri- 
gade, while marching by the flank into position, had six companies, 
C, H, E, K, G and B, detached from . the left, without the know- 
ledge of Maj. Price, who was leading the Regiment into position ; 
an aid to one of the general officers, without authority from either 
the division or brigade commanders, detached the left, by directing 
Lieut. Eachus, Company C, to take another direction than that of 
following the right of the Regiment, and sent those companies 
forward to charge a line of rebel rifle pits on the right flank of the 
advance. This was successfully accomplished ; not, however, with- 
out considerable loss in killed and wounded, several of the color 
guard being killed, placing the colors of the Regiment in great 
danger of capture. The brigade was soon ordered to advance 
across a meadow on the right, in the same direction as that taken 
by the left of the 97th P. V., and to occupy the wood beyond. 

The orders Maj. Price received from Lieut. Col, Coan were to ad- 
vance the 97th P. V. to a point indicated on the right; then to move 
to the right as far as possible. Moving by the flank at double quick, 
exposed to a brisk fire, the Regiment advanced across a meadow, fol- 
lowing the bed of a creek; reached the wood with but little loss; 
formed by company into line upon the run; then ascended tlie 
bank on the top of which was a line of rebel rifle pits, from which 
the enemy had retired to a second line a few yards further on. From 
this an effective fire was kept up. The Regiment then moved along 
the ditch until reaching a point beyond which an enfilading fire of 
the enemy, occupying the prolongation of the same line, prevented 
further progress. 

Leaving Capt. Mendenhall, of Company D, in charge of that 
portion of the Regiment thus posted, Maj. Price, in fulfillment of 
orders to that effect, from Lieut. Col. Coan, proceeded to the left for 
the purpose of finding the other companies, in order to bring them 
to the part of the field occupied by the right of the Regiment. 



310 HISTORY OP THE NINETY-SEVENTH EEGIMENT. t-^^'y' 

It was at this juncture that the rebels, having fully rallied, were 
beginning to drive back the advanced forces and to regain their lost 
ground. Maj. Price had succeeded in finding and was moving the 
detached companies of his Regiment to the right to rejoin the re- 
mainder of his command, and was just in the rear of two brigades 
that were lying against the slope of the hill in column by regiment 
closed in mass, when the sudden movement of a heavy force of the 
enemy, on the left flank of this force, exposed the position to cap- 
ture. The troops came rushing down the hill, breaking through the 
ranks of Maj. Price's men, sweeping all in confusion across the 
meadow in the rear. He then followed in order to rally his men, 
which was done at the line of earthworks, behind which the line 
was reformed. Maj. Price then received orders, from Gen. Turner, 
to occupy the line of intrenchments, with the left of his Regiment, 
unlil further orders. It remained in this position until the close of 
the engagement, exposed to a heavy flank fire of musketry and shell 
from the enemy's works. The right of the 97th P. V. continued to 
hold its position, repelling successive attempts of the enemy to 
charge and retake that portion of the line; by this means aff'ording 
protection to Brig. Gen. W. F. Bartlett's brigade of the 1st division 
of the 9th Corps on the left, the position of the 97th P. V. com- 
manding a ravine through which a rebel force was endeavoring to 
reach Gen. Bartlett's rear and cut him off from the main force. 

For over three hours, under a terrible fire of artillery and 
musketry, with the intense heat of the July sun overhead, those 
brave men shrunk not from their duty. Their position was perilous 
in the extreme, isolated from the main force by the meadow swept 
by the rebel fire, and separated from Gen. Bartlett's command by 
the ravine which the rebel fire also covered. Their ammunition 
almost exhausted, it became necessary to send a messenger to report 
their situation. Private John Bowling, Company D, orderly at 
regimental head-quarters, dispatched upon this errand, was severely 
wounded and prevented from reporting. Orders were subsequently 
sent to Capt. Mendenhall to retire to the intrenched lines. The ' 
men could only retire singly under whatever cover they could find. 
Several were killed and wounded, among the latter was Capt. Men- . 
denhall, who received a Minie ball through the left arm, near the 
shoulder. Having reached the earthworks, these companies took 
their places in the line with the Regiment. 

Within less than an hour. Gen. Bartlett's brigade lost, by cap- 



1864.] ACTION AT PETERSBURG MINE, VA. 311 

ture, nine hundred and seventy-five, officers and men, including the 
general and staff; Col. G. G. Marshall, commander of a brigade in 
Brig. Gen. J. H. Ledlie's 1st division, 9th Corps, was also captured 
at the same time. The closing in of the enemy upon both flanks, 
occurring a little earlier, would have included the right wing of the 
97th P. V. in the number of prisoners. At 1 P. M., the troops 
were withdrawn from the field, the line being held by the usual 
force. 

The 2d division of the 10th Corps, which, at this time, numbered 
about four thousand available men, entered the action with probably 
a Uttle less than that number, sustained a loss of over four hundred. 

The 97th P. V. was not relieved until 2.30 P. M., when it started 
upon the march toward its former position, to the right of Cemetery 
Hill, having sustained a loss in this action of ten killed and twenty- 
eight wounded, as follows: Company A, one killed; Company B, ten 
wounded; Company C, five wounded; Company D, three wounded 
Company E, one killed, three wounded; Company F, three killed 
Company G, two killed, three wounded ; Company H, one wounded 
Company I, one killed ; Company K, two killed, three wounded. 

Capt. WiUiam S. Mendenhall, Company D, severely wounded 
in the left shoulder, was sent to the field hospital, 18th Corps, and 
from there to Annapolis, Md., where he remained until discharged 
the service, on the 4th of October following, having served over 
three years. 1st Lieut. Levi L. March, severely wounded in the 
right arm and leg, was sent to the field hospital, 18th Corps, where 
his arm and leg were amputated. He was afterward transferred to 
the Chesapeake Hospital, at Fortress Monroe, Va., where he died, 
on the night of August 13, from the effects of his severe wounds. 
His remains were sent to Norristown, Pa., for burial. 2d Lieut. 
James Mc Williams, Company E, wounded in the right arm; 2d 
Lieut. Jacob G. Lowry, Company B, slightly in the right foot. 2d 
Lieut. Thomas Cosgriff, Company F, was prostrated by a slight sun- 
stroke. Corp. John T. Taylor, Company A, with the color guard, 
was instantly killed during the charge of the left wing of the Regi- 
ment upon the rebel rifle pits. His body could not be brought off 
the field as the enemy soon after occupied the ground. Private 
Joshua Carey, Company F, was also instantly killed, while ad- 
vancing with the Regiment, soon after leaving the covered way. 
He was a veteran of the Mexican war, and had passed nearly ten 
years in service of the United States. 



312 HISTOKT OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. FAngnst, 

On July 31, the 2d division of the 10th Corps, was relieved from 
duty with" the 18th, and ordered to rejoin the 10th Corps, north of 
the Appomattox. The 97th P. V. had been for thirty-eight days 
continuously under fire before Petersburg, sustaining casualties that 
had largely diminished its numbers. After a fatiguing march of fif- 
teen miles, during which many of the men were overcome by the 
excessive heat, the old camp ground, at Foster's Place, was reached, 
where tents were again pitched and covered with boughs of pine to 
shade the men from the intense heat. 

The details for duty were now much reduced, affording the men 
opportunity to rest after this period of arduous service. 

The pickets here had for some time, by mutual consent, avoided 
firing upon each other — the men sitting upon or reclining against 
the embankments in plain view of each other, and when no oflicer 
of either side was near, interchanging papers, tobacco and friendly 
chat. The field officers of the day passed frequently along the line 
in view of the enemy, whose lines were only a few paces ofi', with- 
out molestation. Officers of the enemy were also seen, but no re- 
cognition or sign of salutation passed; each side tacitly accepted 
and respected the truce in regard to firing. 

During July, in addition to the casualties previously reported in 
the action of July 30, there were nine killed and thirty-five wounded, 
making a total, during the advance against Petersburg, from June 
15 to July 30, of thirty killed and ninety-three wounded, an aggre- 
gate of one hundred and twenty-three, officers and men. 

At City Point, Va., about August 1, 1864, there occurred a terrific 
explosion of a large amount of ammunition which was being un- 
loaded from vessels at the wharf. A large number of men were 
killed, of whose remains scarce a vestige was found; some were 
wounded by the flying fragments and destructive missiles; many 
men, known to- have been near, were missed and never heard of 
again; every vestige of the vessels disappeared, and many buildings 
were destroyed and others injured. The report and shock were 
very distinct at the camp of the Regiment, near Foster's Place, 
where the dense smoke and flying debris were plainly visible. 

Lieut. Col. Pennypacker was commissioned colonel of the Regi- 
ment, by Gov. Curtin, during his absence. He rejoined the Regi- 
ment at Bermuda Hundred, August 12, having partially recovered 
from his wounds received on May 20; but still somewhat disabled 
in the use of his right arm. He resumed command of the Regiment 



18641 



OPERATIONS NORTH OF THE JAMES. 



313 



on August 13. He had been mustered as lieutenant colonel, on 
August 12, by Capt. T. E. Lord, mustering officer of the division, to 
rank from April 3, 1864. That officer, however, refused to muster 
him upon his commission as colonel on account of the reduced num- 
bers of the Eegiment. Col. Pennypacker then forwarded an ap- 
pUcation, through the department head-quarters, to the Secretary of 
War, for muster as colonel, which was returned, with an order from 
the Secretary directing it. He was duly mustered in that grade, by 
Capt. Lord, on August 15. 

After the muster of Lieut. Col. Pennypacker, and pending his ap- 
plication to the Secretary of War, Maj. Price applied to Capt. I^ord, 
for muster upon his commission as major, and was then informed 
that it Avas a question of muster-out of either Col. Pennypacker or 
himself, the numbers of the Eegiment being reduced below the 
standard that would entitle it — under any construction Capt. Lord 
could put upon his orders — to the muster of more than one field 
officer. This was accepted by Maj. Price as a barrier to further effort 
to secure his muster. He however, continued to perform the duties 
of major until the expiration of his term of service. 

Early in August, 
Gen. Butler had en- 
tered upon the con- 
struction of the noted 
Dutch Gap Canal, 
and volunteer details 
were called for from 
each regiment. Se- 
veral of the 97th P. 
V. were of the num- 
ber engaged in that 
most hazardous ser- 
vice. The work was 
pushed forward rapidly, protected by a battery on the opposite side 
of the James, which operated upon the guns of the enemy which 
commanded the canal. 

On August 13, an advance having been determined upon to 
move against Richmond, on the north side of the James River, the 
2d and 10th Corps, and the cavalry divisions of Kautz and McM. 
Gregg, were the designated forces. 

Gen. Turner, with the 1st brigade of his division, was left in com- 




BATTERY NEAR DUTCH GAP. 



314 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. [August, 

mand, at Bermuda Hundred. Brig. Gen. William- Birney, with his 
brigade of colored troops, being now assigned to the 10th Corps, 
the 2d and 3d brigades of Turner's division were temporarily de- 
tached with Gen. Birney's brigade, and his command was now de- 
signated as Birney's provisional division. 

Maj. Price, having been detailed as field officer of the day for 
August 13, was engaged upon that duty when the order for a move- 
ment north of the James was received ; he, therefore, remained upon 
that duty when the Regiment marched with the 10th Corps. 
Before he could rejoin the Regiment he was taken ill and was, by 
direction of the division surgeon, placed on board the hospital boat at 
Jones' Landing and conveyed to Fortress Monroe, Va., for treatment. 
He was there admitted to the Chesapeake Hospital and remained 
under treatment tor twenty-tour days, his disease being an attack of 
malarial fever. 



POKTOON BKIDGB AT JONES' LANDING, HEAK DEEP BOTTOM. 

The 97th P. V. had struck tents at dark, on August 13, and 
marched from the camp, at Foster's Place, crossed the James River 
at daylight on the 14th, on a pontoon bridge at Jones' Landing, 
then continued toward Deep Bottom, where the rebel lines were 
reached. The 97th P. V. was immediately ordered to prepare for 
a charge upon a force of rebels that was annoying the transports on 
the river. The enemy retiring, however, the order to charge was 
countermanded. 



1864] ACTION AT STRAWBERRY PLAINS, VA. 315 

■ Hancock's 2d Corps was pushed out to the right, in order to flank 
the enemy's position across Bailey's Creek, while Birney's 10th 
Corps assaulted the enemy at New Market, capturing their lines of 
rifle trenches, with six field pieces, four stand of colors and several 
hundred prisoners. Hancock's advance was not so successful, ovdng 
to Barlow's division delivering his assault upon the flank and rear, 
by a single brigade ; and the extreme heat had so prostrated his men 
as to diminish their usual dash and success. Many were prostrated 
by sunstroke, nearly two hundred being carried to the rear from ex- 
haustion, the casualties of the day being about one thousand. 

About IIP. M., Col. Pennypacker, commanding the centre of 
the brigade, the 76th and 97th P. V., was ordered to move forward, 
his force to gain a position near the rebel lines, sheltered from their 
fire by the crest of a hill. The movement was made on the double 
quick, reaching cover, just outside the enemy's trenches, without 
drawing their fire. This advance was intended to secure a support 
for a movement to be made early the next morning, the 15th, by 
the 2d Corps, which was successfully accomplished, capturing a 
battery of six mortars and three guns. After the assault by the 
2d Corps, the 10th Corps occupied Gen. Hancock's former position, 
in a copse of pine. During the night, the enemy threw shot and 
shell without intermission. Gregg's Cavalry extended the right 
to the Charles City Road. A brigade of the 2d Corps connected 
the cavalry with Gen. W. Birney's provisional division. Terry's 
division was on the left and Barlow's on the refused flank. 




BATTLE FIELD OF MALVERN HILL, VA. 



At daylight on August 16, the 2d and 10th Corps advanced on 
the enemy's works, at Strawberry Plains, called by some Fussell's 
Mill, near Malvern Hill Road, and in view of the battle field 



316 HISTORY OF THE NINETT-SEVENTH REGIMENT. [August, 

of Malvern Hill. After a determined resistance, the rebels were 
driven from their position about 9 A. M. The main force followed 
the enemy, leaving Birney's provisional division to hold the works 
Gen. Terry's division had captured, with over two hundred prisoners, 
early in the action. 

Meanwhile, Gregg's Cavalry, supported by Miles' brigade (in- 
fantry) of the 2d Corps, advanced on the Charles City Road, driving 
the enemy before him with considerable loss on their part. Gen. 
Chambliss being among the killed. 

Toward noon, the enemy, largely reinforced, advanced on the right 
and left, flanking our forces, compelling a return to the strongly 
intrenched lines with severe loss. To avoid being cut off and cap- 
tured, by flanking forces of the enemy, required the wary corps and 
division commanders to be active and alert with prompt vigilance. 

The position of the 97th P. V., with Birney's provisional division, 
was one of critical peril. The first intimation received of the re- 
tiring of the main force tvas the sudden appearance of a large body 
of the enemy in front of their line of works, extending far beyond 
each flank, and advancing rapidly upon them. The division opened 
a rapid and galling fire, and bravely maintained its position until the 
enemy, in overwhelming numbers, had advanced to the trenches and 
planted their flags beside our own upon the line of works; then as 
their flanks began to sweep around to envelope the position, cap- 
ture or retreat became inevitable. Slowly and stubbornly the men 
retired, fighting from tree to tree, keeping at bay their pursuers. 
Many were captured, some killed, and many wounded. 

Among those who fell was the 
brave and steadfast soldier, Capt. 
Henry W. Carruthers, Company 
C, late adjutant of the Regiment, 
who was mortally wounded, about 
1 P. M., by a Minie ball through 
the- spinal column, paralyzing his 
lower limbs. He was borne off 
the field by his sorrowing com- 
rades, subsequently conveyed to 
the hospital boat on the James 

CHESAPEAKB HOSPITAI.. Jj-^^j.^ ^^^ ^^^^ ^^ ^^^ ChOSapCake 

Hospital at Fortress Monroe, Va., where he received every attention 
which surgical skill could devise, but without avail; after suffering 




1864.] ACTION AT STRAWBERRY PLAINS, VA. 317 

painftilly and patiently several days, entirely sensible and resigned 
to his fate, he died on August 22. A braver or more faithful sol- 
dier never served his country. Young, gifted and accomplished, 
he was beloved and lamented as a brother, companion and friend. 
His remains were sent to West Chester and buried, on August 27, 
in the Oakland Cemetery, with due military honors and a large at- 
tendance of citizens and friends. 

The loss to the entire force during the movement was about five 
thousand. The loss in the Regiment, in addition to Adjt. Carruthers, 
was nine killed, twelve wounded and eighteen captured, as fcillows : 
field and staff, one killed; Company A, two killed, one wounded, 
one captured; Company B, one killed, two wounded, five captured; 
Company C, two wounded; Company D, one killed, three wounded, 
one captured; Company E, two captured; Company F, four killed, 
four captured; Company G, one killed, one captured; Company H, 
one wounded, one captured; Company I, two wounded; Company 
K. one wounded, three captured. Many of those captured were 
also wounded. Nine of the eighteen died, either in rebel prisons 
or soon after their return home. 

Company B, commanded by 1st Lieut. James T. Skiles, lost eight 
men of twenty-two engaged in the action, Lieut. Skiles being the 
last man to get back to the lines. Capt. Samuel V. Black, Com- 
pany K, was among the captured, and was held a prisoner about 
eight months. Upon being released, in April, 1865, he rejoined the 
Regiment at Raleigh, N. C, resigned and was honorably discharged. 
May 4, 1865. 

1st Lieut. Henry Odiorne, Company D, on duty upon the staff 
of Brig. Gen. Robert S. Foster (commanding 2d brigade, 1st divi- 
sion), while taking an order to Col. Frank Osborne, 24th Mass. 
(commanding one of the brigades), had his horse shot from under 
him during the a(5tidn. 

Col. Pennypacker, in a letter to Col. H. R. Guss, dated Deep 
Bottom, Va., August 18, 1864, says of the Regiment in this action: 

"* * * We moved in about an hour after I went on duty (upon re- 
suming command of the Regiment, August 13), and have been marching, skir- 
mishing and fighting ever since. We went into the fight, near Malvern Hill, on 
the 16th, with one hundred and twenty men and came out with eighty-one, losing 
several prisoners. A small regiment, isn't it? I have seldom been so close to 
the enemy before. Our corps was flanked on the left completely, and driven 
back. Union and rebel colors waved from the same parapet. The flag of a 
Virginia regiment and the flag — tattered and torn — of the 97th P. V. were 



318 HISTORY OP THE NINETT-SEVENTH REGIMENT. [August, 

planted not six feet apart. That was hot work, but we brought the flag off in 
safety. It shall appear at the Green Tree and be placed in your bands, when 
Company C goes home, with God helping us to defend it. * * * " 

A West Chester paper, referring evidently to this action, is thus 
quoted : 

The Ninety-Seventh. — A correspondent of the Evangelist relates the fol- 
lowing as having occurred in the gallant Ninety-Seventh Regiment. These are 
the men whom some of our citizens would deprive of the elective franchise : 

"I will give you one incident illustrating the quality of our soldiers. I was 
at the quarters of the Ninety-Seventh Pennsylvania Regiment after one of the 
recent battles. I noticed a group of soldiers standing around a tattered and torn 
battle flag, eyeing it with a peculiar affection. I said to them: 

" 'Boys, your flag looks as if it had seen service.' 

"One of them proudly replied: 

" 'Sir, five standard bearers were shot down around it, yesterday, but they did 
not get it at last.' 

" 'And so you'll keep your flag, will you?' 

'"We'll hold on to the staff though the tempest tears the flag from it.' 

" With such brave defenders, the flag of Liberty will never be dishonored. 
The tempest may, indeed, tear it in pieces and offer its shreds to the God of the 
storm, but it will never trail in the dust of disgrace. That God will restore it to 
its noble defenders with its stars shining more brightly after the tempest sub- 
sides, and it shall float more proudly and gloriously than ever — 

" 'O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.'" 

After the engagements at Deep Bottom, and Stravs^berry Plains, 
August 15 and 16, the two brigades of the 2d division, 10th Corps, 
still with Birney's provisional division, were found to be badly cut 
up and worn out, having had but little rest, from the urgency of the 
service; with but little to eat and without opportunity to receive 
regular rations. The division was ordered to the rear, and en- 
camped at the position previously occupied by Gen. Foster's division 
of the 10th Corps, in the valley of Deep Run, near Jones' Landing. 

The condition of the men was that of almost utter exhaustion. 
The frequent change of position and the rapid flank movements, re- 
quired of them during this arduous period of service, together with 
the intense heat, had greatly overtaxed the powers of endurance of 
the best troops in the field. The division had hardly arrived at 
camp when a brigade was detailed for picket. It was beyond the 
nature of men to justify this record in saying the order was cheer- 
fully obeyed; but it was obeyed with less of complaint than could 
have been expected of men who had, with unflagging persistence and 
bravery, assaulted the enemy in their strongest lines, and pressed 



1864.] CONGRATULATORY ORDER BY MAJ. GEN, D. B. BIRNEY. 319 

upon their front with ceaseless vigilance, by night and by day, for 
three days, without rest and with only such food as was carried in 
their haversacks. The brigade was relieved, after twenty-four hours, 
by other brigades of the division. 

Following the action, 'at Strawberry Plains, Gen. D. B. Birney, 
commanding the 10th Corps, issued the following complimentary 
order to his command: 

Head-Quarters 10th Army Corps, Fussell's Mills, Va., 

August 19, 1864. 
General Orders. 

The major general commanding congratulates the lOtb Corps upon its success. 
It has on each occasion, when ordered, broken the enemy's strong lines. It has 
captured, during this short campaign, four siege guns, protected by the most 
formidable works, six colors and many prisoners. It has proved itself worthy 
of its old Wagner and Sumter renown. 

Much fatigue, patience and heroism may yet be demanded of it; but the 
major general commanding is confident of the response. 

To the colored troops recently added to us, and fighting with us, the major 
general commanding tenders his thanks for their uniform good conduct and 
soldierly bearing. They have set a good example to our reterans by the entire 
absence of straggling from their ranks on the march. 
By order of Maj. Gen. D. B. Birney. 

[Signed] Edward W. Smith, 

• Lieut. Col. and A. A. G. 

On August 20, the 10th Corps returned to Bermuda Hundred 
and occupied their old quarters. The duty consisted principally of 
picket and fatigue. 

On August 22, about thirty men of Company A, whose term of 
service expired on that date, were mustered out of service, by Capt. 
T. EUery Lord, 3d N. Y. Art'y, mustering officer of the division. 
Before starting home, they were addressed by Col. Pennypacker, 
their original company commander, in a few parting words ; also by 
Chaplain Moore. Upon their arrival at West Chester, on the even- 
ing of the 27th, in accordance with previous invitation from Col. 
H. R. Guss, they proceeded to his hotel, received a hearty wel- 
come and partook of an excellent repast, as did also those of other 
companies subsequently as they returned home. 

On the morning of August 25, while the 10th Corps was being 
relieved from picket by the 18th, the rebels captured a portion of the 
picket line, near Wier Bottom Church, the suddenness and force of 
the attack proving too great for the stubborn and determined re- 
sistance with which it was met; the loss on both sides was severe. 



320 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. [August, 

In the evening, the 2d division of the 10th Corps recaptured the 
line; the 97th P. V. being the first to charge and occupy the part 
of the line in its front. " The action was short, sharp and decisive.'" 
The loss in the 97th P. V. was two killed and three wounded, one 
of each of the following companies: A, D, E, I and K. 

On August 26, the 10th Corps moved to the Petersburg front and 
occupied the trenches on the right, from the Appomattox to a point 
near Cemetery Hill, the 9th Corps adjoining on the left. The 97th 
P. V. was then detailed for duty in the front line, every alternate 
twenty-four hqurs, returning in the interval to camp, near Friend's 
house. Details for intrenchment work were also made. 

On the 29th, a mortar shell fell in the trenches, severely wound- 
ing Privates William Agg and Henry H. Stiteler, Company C, 
one of Company G, and several others slightly. William H. Kelly, 
Company D, was mortally wounded while on picket from concussion 
of a shell; he died the following night in the field hospital. 

Within a few days after returning to that position, the brigade 
commander, Col. W. B. Barton, 48th N. Y., was mustered out of 
service upon the expiration of his term. The command of the 2d 
brigade, 2d division, 10th Corps, now devolved upon Col. G. Penny, 
packer, of the 97th P. V., as the ranking ofiicer. Such, however, 
was the confidence in his ability and qualification for this command, 
that he was, on October 15 following, by order of Maj. Gen. B. F. 
Butler, commanding the Army of the James, regularly assigned to 
the permanent command of the brigade. Subsequently, Col. John 
W. Moore's 203d P. V., a newly-organized regiment, was added 
to his command, making it the largest brigade in the 10th Corps 
and one of the most efficient in the service. 

The command of the 97th P. V. at that time, in the absence of 
Maj. Price, on account of illness, since August 15,, devolved at in- 
tervals upon Capt. Lewis, Company F, Capt. Hawkins, Company 
1, and 1st Lieut. John Wainwright, Company F, the senior 1st 
lieutenant of the Regiment. 

From August 30, 1864, to September 14, those men of Company 
B present with the Regiment, whose terms of service had expired, 
were mustered out by Capt. Lord: Qr. Mr. Sergt. George L. 
Taggert and Com. Sergt. Thomas McKay, being also mustered out-. 
Corp. Leonard Thomas, Company C, was appointed quarter-master 
sergeant, and Sergt. Dallas Crow, Company B, commissary sergeant 
of the Regiment. 1st Lieut. Henry Odiorne was now relieved from 



1864.] COLONEL PENNTP ACKER COMMANDING BRIGADE. 321 

duty upon Gen. Foster's staff, 1st division, and was detailed, by Gen. 
Birney, commissary of subsistence at the 10th Corps Hospital. 1st 
Lieut. John McGrath was also transferred from duty in post quarter- 
master's department, at Bermuda Hundred, to act as brigade quarter- 
master, 2d brigade, 2d division, 10th Corps. 2d Lieut. William H. 
Eves was assigned temporarily to the command of Company E. 

On September 1, the second flag of the Regiment was received. 
It was placed by Col. Pennypacker in the hands of Color Bearer 
Thomas Forsythe, Company E. 

At this time. Gen. J. W. Turner was prostrated by illness and 
was relieved in command of the division by Brig. Gen. Robert S. 
Foster. 

The Regiment was paid about the beginning of the month, by 
Maj. O. M. Dorman, for four months, from March 1 to June 30. 

Ass't Surgeon William C. Morrison was at this time temporarily 
assigned to the 4th N. H. as medical ofiicer, and, upon being re- 
lieved, in October, was for a short time detached upon the same 
duty with the 9 th Maine. 

On September 11, Maj. Price, having nearly recovered from his 
severe illness, returned from Chesapeake Hospital to the Regiment. 
He did not resume active command, but remained in charge of the 
camp and head-quarters of the Regiment and attended to the pre- 
paration of the muster-out rolls for his late company. 

One man of Company C was wounded on the 5th and one of 
Company B on the 1 1th. 

The enemy persisted in firing on the pickets at all hours, until 
Gen. Birney determined to give them more serious employment. 
Accordingly, at 10 A. M., on September 14, his batteries opened on 
their works along the entire front and upon the city of Petersburg, 
Uterally raining shot and shell upon the enemy for over two hours. 
The firing, so rapid and incessant, indicated a general engagement, 
causing commotion. The roads and rear lines were thronged with 
men hurrying to ascertain the cause of such terrific cannonading. 
About noon the fire slackened; by 4 P. M. it had ceased. 

On same day, 1st Lieut. J. T. Skiles, Company B, acting adjutant, 
received a leave of absence, on account of the illness of his father. 
He did not return to the Regiment, having received an honorable 
discharge, on November 5, on account of expiration of term. 2d 
Lieut. W. H. H. Gibson, Company I, was detailed acting adjutant 
and continued to fulfil that duty about a month, when he was de- 
21 



322 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. [September, 

tailed as acting regimental quarter-master, in which capacity he 
served until the end of tlie war. 

On September 17, twenty-eight men of Company C, whose term 
of service had expired, were mustered out of service, at Friend's 
house, by Capt. T. E. Lord, division mustering officer. Hosp. 
Steward John Y. McCarter, Sergt. Maj. Samuel W. Hawley and 
Fife Maj. James J. Wilson, all originally members of Company C, 
were mustered out upon the expiration of their term with the men 
of that company. Corp. Madison Lovett, Company A, was promoted 
to hospital steward; Corp. Cheyney T. Haines, Company G, to ser- 
geant major, and Musician Milton S. Taylor, Company H, to fife 
major. 

Maj. Price, having been detailed, in Special Order No. 254, 
by Maj. Gen. Butler, to proceed to Pennsylvania to secure the re- 
quired number of men to fill the Regiment, accompanied the men 
of his old company on their return. They started for Fortress 
Monroe, Va., on the 18th, taking with them the tattered remnant 
of the old flag, so long and so faithfully borne by the Regiment 
through the storm and peril of many severe contests. They were 
delayed several days at Fortress Monroe, awaiting transportation. 
Upon their arrival at West Chester, the flag was placed in charge 
of Col. H. R. Guss, to be returned to the Governor of Pennsylvania. 
In his absence from home, the detachment was entertained at his 
house by his son, Capt. George W. Guss, several citizens being in- 
vited to aid in giving welcome to the veterans. 

The men of Company D, whose terms expired, were mustered 
out, on the 19th, and reached home soon after those of Company C. 
The officers and men of the remaining companies of the Regi- 
ment, as their terms expired, were mustered out and returned home. 
All were received by Col. Guss and made welcome at his home. 

Henry Kauffman, Jr., 2d lieutenant Company C, acting regi- 
mental quarter-master, was mustered out on September 22. 

The 10th Corps remained in the trenches, in front of Petersburg, 
during the month of September, performing both picket and fatigue 
duty, exposed to the fire of the enemy continually, the service 
being exceedingly arduous, critical and wearing to the men. 

On the evening of September 28, the 10th and 18th Corps left 
the Petersburg front, crossed the Appomattox and through Bermuda 
Hundred, crossed the James River, by pontoon bridge, to Deep 
Bottom; having moved with great celerity and secrecy, came upon 



1864.] FORT HARRISON. NEW MARKET HEIGHTS. FORT GILMER. 323 




chapin's bluff from fort darling. 



the enemy's long line 
of intrenchmerits, just 
below Chapin's Bluff, 
at daylight on the 29th. 
The 18th Corps, com- 
manded by Maj. Gen. 
E. 0. C. Ord, being 
on the left, the 10th 
Corps, commanded by 
Maj. Gen. D. B. Birney, 
in the centre, while the 

cavalry of Kautz extended to the right. Gen. Ord, with the 1st 
and 3d divisions of his corps, was directed, by Gen. Butler, to as- 
sault the enemy's outpost below the bluff, known as Fort Harrison. 
This he did with great gallantry, capturing fifteen guns, about 
one hundred and fifty prisoners and a considerable portion of the 
enemy's intrenchments. These very formidable works, fully equal 
to any around Richmond, were carried at the point of the bayonet. 
Gen. Ord was among the wounded. Brig. Gen. Godfrey Weitzel 
succeeded to the command. Brig. Gen. Hiram Burnham was killed. 
Fort Harrison, where he fell, was afterward officially designated, by 
Gen. Butler, as Fort Burnham. 

Simultaneously with this movement, the 10th Corps moved 
toward Spring Hill, near New Market, assailed and carried the 
strong earthworks, with double line of abattis, at New Market 
Heights, the enemy losing about five hundred in killed, wounded 
and prisoners. 

Birney then advanced upon their more strongly fortified works 
on Laurel Hill, at the junction of the Variana and New Market 
Roads, six miles from Richmond. This position, called, by the 
enemy. Fort Gilmer, was promptly assaulted but proved too power- 
ful to be carried by Birney's limited force, although a portion of his 
troops reached the ditch. At night he withdrew, having suffered a 
loss of about three hundred and fifty men. 

During this action, the 2d division of the 10th Corps made a 
terrific charge on one of the main lines of the enemy, nearer the 
city, but the obstructions were so great as to prevent an entrance 
into the main works. The loss was quite heavy. Col. Penny- 
packer led his brigade, on the right of the assaulting column, in 
the charge. The 97th P. V., on the right of his brigade, Lieut. 



324 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. [October, 

Wainwright in command, forced their way through a mile of slash- 
ing and over a small stream; the ground being also very irregular; 
It vi'as a most remarkable assault. The men were unable to double 
quick, owing to the great number of obstructions. Two divisions 
of the 10th Corps were engaged. The attack was unsuccessful, 
owing to the superior force and vastly superior position of the 
enemy. The loss in the 97th P. V. was one killed, ten wounded 
and two missing. One of the captured died while a prisoner; the 
other never rejoined the Regiment. Four of the wounded were 
officers, among whom was Col. Pennypacker, who, while deploying 
his brigade previous to the charge, received a slight but very 
painful wound in the right ancle by a piece of shell. His spur was 
knocked off and his horse shot under him. He, however, remained 
upon the field and led his brigade throughout the action. Lieut. 
Cosgriff, Company F, and Lieut. DuiFee, Company I, were also 
severely wounded in the charge. The latter was absent in hospital 
for nearly two months. 

Several officers and men of the Regiment were complimented, by 
name, in general orders, by Maj. Gen. Butler, for good conduct on 
this occasion and were recommended for promotion. After falling 
back a short distance, the lOlh Corps occupied the intrenchments, 
south of Fort Gilmer, from which they had previously advanced, 
where it was soon afterward joined by the 18th Corps. Kautz's 
Cavalry also encamped with this force, which then engaged in 
strengthening their position. These works. Fort Harrison and New 
Market Heights, being considered, by Gen. Grant, of great im- 
portance toward jeopardizing the defences of Richmond, it was 
determined to hold them. This was faithfully done by the tried 
veterans of the 10th and 18th Corps, although the rebels made 
several desperate attempts to dislodge them. 

On October 1, Gens. Terry and Kautz made a reconnoissance 
toward Richmond, with a well-selected force of cavalry, artillery 
and infantry, including the 97th P. V. This force penetrated to 
within two miles of the city, meeting with but slight resistance, 
being the nearest approach made to Richmond until its occupancy 
by the Union forces, under Gen. Weitzel, the ensuing spring. 

Finding their Capital thus menaced, the enemy determined upon 
a vigorous effort to drive our forces from their position north of the 
James. The 18th Corps, it will be remembered, occupied the left, 
intrenched at Fort Harrison and extending thence to the river, ten 



1864.] REPULSE OP THE ENEMY AT CHARLES CITY ROAD. 325 

miles from Eichmond; the 10th Corps holding the centre and right, 
extending the line to the Charles City Road, at a point five miles 
from the rebel capital; Kautz's Cavalry was stationed on the ex- 
treme right, on the Darby Town Road. 

The rebels began their advance at dusk, on the evening of Oc- 
tober 6, in two columns. Field's division, consisting of four bri- 
gades of infantry with Geary's Cavalry Brigade, moved out of Rich- 
mond, on the York River Turnpike; marched all night, by a cir- 
cuitous route, and fell upon Kautz's Cavalry at daylight on the 7th. 

Hoke's division, of equal strength with Field's, also moved out 
from the line of works beyond the right of our infantry, and ad- 
vanced on the Central Road. From prisoners taken, it was ascer- 
tained that the two commands were to meet behind Kautz's picket 
line and cut them off; fortunately, Hoke was two hours behind time. 
Kautz, discovering only the movements of Field's column, pitched 
into it. He had with him two batteries of artillery — B, of the 1st 
U. S. and the 5th Wis. Battery. For nearly two hours. Field's 
column was held in check, during which time the cavalry made some 
spirited charges. Finally, Field massed his infantry for a charge. 
Kautz dismounted a portion of his men to meet it; but, being 
greatly outnumbered, it was impossible to withstand the impetuous 
force hurled against them. 

Hoke's advance was then perceived, which caused a complete rout 
of the cavalry. The artillery maintained its position until the 
rebels were within forty feet, fighting against the fearful odds, until 
their ammunition was exhausted ; then, spiking their guns, escaped 
with their horses. A single regiment of mounted men. Col. Sum- 
ner's N. Y. Mounted Rifles, remained upon the field long enough 
to enable Gen. Birney to complete his preparations to meet the 
enemy. During the early morning, that ofiicer, although seriously 
ill, was busily engaged forming his troops to receive the onslaught 
of the enemy. Having left his bed, against the remonstrance of 
his medical advisers, when the alarm was sounded for battle, he 
was in the saddle, personally attending to whatever was necessary 
for a successful resistance of the storm at hand. 

After gaining possession of Darby Town Road, the rebels pushed 
on toward Gen. Birney's position, where his well-trained infantry 
awaited the advance of their assailants until they came dashing 
upon the Hues, flushed with their success in routing the cavalry. 
These veterans reserved their fire until the enemy was within short 



326 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. [October, 

range, when, from the entire line, there was poured into their ad- 
vancing ranks a sudden, incessant and destructive fire. The strong 
skirmish line, armed with Spencer rifles, lay concealed behind a 
thicket of underbrush until the enemy were close upon them; then, 
suddenly rising, directed a continuous stream of fire against their 
lines; having exhausted their ammunition, they gave way to the 
rear, uncovering the main line of battle. The action now became 
intensely hot. The air was filled with deadly missiles, the con- 
tinuous roar of musketry and the booming of heavy guns. 

Four batteries, of six guns each, planted on the left of Gen. A. 
H. Terry's division of the 10th Corps, and commanded by Lieut. 
Col. R. K^Jackson, chief of artillery, did effectual service 

The men of the well-trained 10th Corps displayed a steadiness 
and coolness seldom equalled and never surpassed. The rebels were 
most determined in their efforts, but, finding that they could not 
break through the lines, finally gave way, retreating in coni'usion, 
having lost over one thousand in killed and wounded. Our loss was 
but little over one hundred in killed, wounded and missing, from 
Abbott's brigade chiefly. The 97th P. V. had only one wounded, 
James Hayes, Company E. 

The rout of the enemy was complete. Their retreat in great con- 
fusion was closely followed, by Gen. Terry's division of the 10th 
Corps, until they had reached the shelter of their intrenched lines, 
capturing a considerable number of prisoners. 

A correspondent of the New York Herald, in giving an account 
of this action, thus speaks of the 10th Corps: "October 7, 1864. 
Midnight, before Richmond. * * * It is a source of 
great satisfaction to me to reflect that my confident assertions of 
the valor of the 10th Corps, and its ability to repel any flank attack 
the rebels might attempt, have been brought to a test and fully 
sustained. * * *" 

Gen. Birney remained throughout the day with his troops, though 
during the afternoon he was compelled to exchange the saddle for 
the more comfortable means of transit in an ambulance. He was 
soon after obliged to accept a leave of absence and returned tp his 
home in Philadelphia, where he died, on October 18. His remains 
were consigned, with military honors, to Woodlands Cemetery. 

Gen. Birney was one of the bravest, most faithful and con- 
scientious .officers of the national army, whose qualities and worth 
will be cherished with tenacious devotion by all whose fortune it 



1864.] DEATH OP MAJOR GENERAL D. B. BIRNEY. 327 

was to know him or to serve under his command. Upon receiving 
notice of his death, Gen. Butler issued the following orders: 

Head-Quarters Department Virginia and North Carolina, 
Army of the James, in the Field, October 21, 1864. 
General Orders No. 135. 

Soldiers op the Army of the JamesI — With deep grief from the heart the 
sad word must be said — Major General David B. Birney is dead. 

But yesterday he was with us — leading you to victory. If the choice of the 
manner of death had been his, it would have been to have died on the field of 
battle as your cheers rang in his ear. But the All-Wise " determineth all things 
well." 

General Birney died at his home, in Philadelphia, on Tuesday last, of disease, 
contracted on the field in the line of his duty. 

Surrounded by all that makes life desirable — a happy home — endeared family 
relations — leaving affluence and ease — as a volunteer at the call of his country — 
he came into the service in April, 1861. Almost every battle field whereon the 
Army of the Potomac has fought has witnessed his valor. Rising rapidly in 
his profession, no more deserved appointment has been made by the President 
than General Birney's assignment to the command of the 10th Army Corps. 
The respect and love of the soldiers of his own corps have been shown by the 
manner they followed him. 

The patriot — the hero — the soldier. By no death has the country sustained a 
greater loss. 

Although not bred to arms he has shown every soldierly quality and illustrated 
that profession of his love and choice. 

It is not the purpose of this order — nor will the woe of the heart of the officer 
giving it — now permit him to write General Birney's eulogy. 

Yet even amid the din of arms — and upon the eve of battle, it is fit that we, 
his comrades, should pause a moment to draw from the example of his life the 
lesson it teaches. 

To him the word duty — ^with all its obligations and incentives — was the spur 
of action. He had no enemies, save the enemies of his country — a friend, a 
brother to us all — it remains to us to see to it, by treading the path of duty as 
he has done — that the great object for which he has struggled with us and laid 
down his life — shall not fail and his death be profitless. 

Soldiers of the 10th Army Corps! Your particular grief at the loss of your 
brave commander has the sympathy of every soldier in the army. It will be 
yours to show your respect to his memory, by serving your country in the future 
as with you Birney has served it in the past. 

By command of Major General Butler. 

Ed. W. Smith, Ass't Adjt. Gen. 

Brig. Gen. A. H. Terry succeeded Gen. Birney in the command 
of the lOth Corps, which continued to hold the position thus stub- 
bornly maintained. The 97th P. V. was stationed, during the re- 
mainder of October, near Chapin's Farm. 



328 HIST0E1 OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. [October, 

On October 8, Dr. J. B. Wood, of Chester County, and Col. Wil- 
liam Cooper Talley, of Delaware County, visited the 97th P. V. on 
official duty connected with the State and Presidential elections. 
They had been commissioned by the Governor of Pennsylvania, in 
accordance with the act of Assembly, to receive the vote of the 
soldiers from the district. They reported to Col. Pennypacker, 
whose guests they became, and with whom they remained until after 
the October election had taken place. Dr. Wood wrote thus to the 
West Chester Record of their reception and entertainment: "The 
men received us with great cordiality, and I recognized many fa- 
miliar faces, and was the honored bearer of many dispatches from 
them to their families. The hospitality of Col. Pennypacker (now 
acting brigadier general) knew no bounds; we fared sumptuously 
with him for two days." 

. The State election, on the 11th, was very quietly conducted in the 
camp of the Eegiment. The vote polled by the Army of the James 
was small in consequence of the men not having tax receipts; nor 
had county tickets been provided — a grave omission on the part of 
the friends of the soldiers at home. The army vote was largely in 
favor of the Administration, being about six to one. The 97th P. 
V. polled one hundred and twenty votes, of which eighty-six were 
cast for the Republican ticket and thirty-four for the Democratic. 

The commissioners revisited the Regiment, in November, for the 
purpose of receiving the vote for President. On that occasion, the 
97th P. V. polled two hundred and twenty votes, of which one hun- 
dred and eight were for Lincoln and one hundred and twelve for 
McClellan. Nearly one hundred substitutes and drafted men had 
been added to the Regiment since the previous election, which 
caused this disproportion in the vote. The original men of the 
Regiment voted for Lincoln almost to a man; drafted men and sub- 
stitutes, being unwilling soldiers, were more favorably disposed 
toward the Democratic candidate. 

On October 11, 1864. Gen. Butler issued a congratulatory order 
to the troops of his command, from which the following extracts are 
taken : 

Head-Quarters Department Virginia and North Carolina, 
Army of the James, before Richmond, October 11, 1864. 
Congratulatory Order. 

Soldiers of the Army of the James : The time has come when it is due 
to you that some word should be said of your deeds ! In accordance with the 
plan committed to you, by the lieutenant general commanding the armies — for 



1864.] GENERAL BUTLER's CONGRATULATORY ORDER. 329 

the first time of the war, fully taking advantage of our facilities of steam trans- 
portation—you performed a march without parallel in the history of the war. At 
sunset of the 4th of May, you were threatening the enemy's capital, from "West 
Point and the White House, within thirty miles of its eastern side. 

Within twenty-four hours, at sunset, on the 5th of May, by a march of a hun- 
dred and thirty miles, you transported thirty-five thousand men, their baggage, 
supplies, horses, wagons and artillery, within fifteen miles of the south side of 
Richmond, with such celerity and secrecy, that the enemy were wholly unpre- 
pared for your coming, and allowed you, without opposition, to seize the strongest 
natural position of the continent — a victory all the more valuable because blood- 
less. Seizing the enemy's communications, between their capital and the south, 
you held them until the 26th of May. * * * 

From the 12th to the 16th of May, you moved on the enemy's works, around 
Fort Darling, holding him in check while your cavalry cut the Danville Road, 
cutting his first line of works, repulsing with great slaughter his attack, which 
was intended for your destruction. Retiring at leisure to your position, you 
fortified it, repulsing three several attacks of the enemy, until you have made it 
strong enough to bold itself. P'ortifying Powhatan, Wilson's Wharf, Fort Poca- 
hontas, you secured your communications and have practically moved Fortress 
Monroe, as a base, within fifteen miles of the rebel capital, there to remain until 
that travels. Re-embarking, after you had secured your position, with nearly 
your whole effective strength, under Maj. Gen. William F. Smith, you again ap- 
peared at White House, forty-eight hours after you received the order to march, 
participating at the memorable battle of 'Cold Harbor, with the Army of the 
Potomac, where the number and character of your gallant dead, attest your 
bravery and courage. Again returning in advance of that army, on the 15th of 
June, under Gen. William F. Smith, the 18th Corps (to which the 2d division of 
the 10th Corps was attached), captured the right of the line of defences around 
Petersburg, and nine pieces of artillery, which lines you have since held for three 
months. 

On June 16, a portion of the 10th Corps, under Brig. Gen. Alfred H. Terry, 
again threw itself upon the enemy's communications between Richmond and 
Petersburg, and destroyed miles of the road, holding the point for several days. 
The 10th Corps, on August 14, passing the James at Deep Bottom, under Maj. 
Gen. David B. Birney, by a series of brilliant charges, carried the ehemy's works 
near New Market, and, two days later, another line of works at Fussell's Mills 
(Strawberry Plains), defended by the best troops of Lee's army, bringing back 
four guns and three battle flags as trophies of their valor. 

Again crossing the James, on September 29, with the 10th and 18th Corps, 
with celerity, precision, secrecy and promptness of movement seldom equalled, 
with both corps in perfect co-operation, you assailed and carried, at the same 
moment, with the 10th Corps and the 3d division of the 18th, under Gen. Birney, 
the enemy's strong works, with double lines of abattis, at Spring Hill and New 
Market, while the remaining division of the 18th Corps, under Maj. Gen. E. O. 
C. Ord, carried by assault. Battery Harrison, capturing twenty-five pieces of 
heavy ordnance, the strongest of the enemy's works around Richmond. The 
army thus possessed itself of the outer line of the enemy's works, and advanced 
to the very gates of Richmond. 



330 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. [October, 

So vital was your success at Battery Hamiltoa that, on October 1, under the 
eye of Gen. Lee himself— massing his best troops, the enemy made most deter- 
mined assaults upon your lines to retake it, and were driven back with loss of 
seven battle flags and almost the annihilation of Clingman's brigade. 

After weeks of preparation, massing all his veteran troops on your right flank, 
on the tth of October, the enemy drove in our cavalry with the loss of some 
pieces of horse artillery; but, meeting the steady troops of the \Cth Corps, were 
repulsed with slaughter, losing three commanders of brigades, killed and 
wounded, and many field and line officers and men, killed, wounded and prisoners. 

Such is the glorious record of the Army of the James! Never beaten in 
battle — never repulsed in assault by a larger portion of its forces than a 
brigade. * * * 

In the present movement, where all have deserved so well, it is almost invidious 
to use names ; yet, justice requires especially gallant acts to be noticed. * ", 

The commanding general is quite conscious that in his endeavor to put on 
record the gallant deeds of the officers and soldiers of the Army of the James, 
he has, almost of necessity, because of imperfoction of reports, omitted many 
deserving of mention; yet, as these gallant men will, on other occasions, equally 
distinguish themselves, they can then take their due place in their country's 
history. * * * 

Tenth Corps, Second Division, Second Brigade. — Col. G-. Pennypacker, 97th 
P. V, commanding 2d brigade, 2d division, 10th Corps, for his zealous and un- 
tiring efforts to make his brigade efficient, and for the manner in which he led 
it in action, is commended by his oorps commander and recommended to the 
President for promotion by brevet. 

1st Lieut. John Wainwright, commanding 97th P. V., has honorable mention 
for the gallant manner in which he conducted the Regiment during the engage- 
ment, October 7. ' 

2d Lieut. William H. Eves, Company G, 97th P. V., behaved with especial 
gallantry in both assaults, and is recommended for promotion to his Excellency 
the Governor of Pennsylvania. 

Sergt. William H. Martin, Company A, 97th P. V., commanded his company 
in both assaults, and led his men with bravery and admirable order in the assault 
of September 29, for which he has most honorable mention and is recommended 
to his Excellency the Governor of Pennsylvania for promotion to 1st lieutenant. 

Corp. David S. Harry, Company B, 97th P. V., is mentioned for special 
gallantry in both assaults, on the 29th of September. He is appointed 2d lieute- 
nant U. S. Colored Troops. 

Private William McCarty, Company D, 97th P. V., is honorably mentioned 
for special gallantry, bearing his colors in advance of his regiment, in the absence 
of the color sergeant, is also recommended to the Secretary of War for a 
medal. * * * 

By command of Major General Bijtlee. 

[Signed] Ed. W. Smith, A. A. G. 

At daybreak, on October 27, Gen. Butler again advanced against 
the defences of Richmond. The 10th Corps moved from its position 




Enorax^eii Printed by 111 men BrothErE 




1864.J ACTION AT DARBT TOWN, VA. 331 

at Chapin's Farm and, taking the Darby Town Road, extended 
their lines across in the direction of Charles City Road. 

On reaching the small village of Darby Town, four and a half 
miles from Richmond, a skirmish line was thrown forward and a 
sharp encounter with the enemy took place. The skirmishers 
easily pushed the rebels back, but at length came upon their 
earthworks and were suddenly checked by a galling fire. 

After a little delay, at mid-day, all preparations having been made, 
an advance along the whole line was ordered. The men dashed upon 
the foe, driving them inside their intrenchments, from which, how- 
ever, they continued to keep up a brisk fire. The troops, with 
great determination, gained and held a position well up to the 
enemy's lines and maintained a persistent fire upon their works 
until nightfall. 

Meanwhile, the 18th Corps, operating on the left of the 10th, 
suffered heavily, principally by capture, losing a large portion 
of the two advance brigades, the rebels having laid a trap into 
which they were drawn. After this disaster, the entire movement 
being only a feint to attract the enemy's attention while the Army 
of the Potomac was fighting at Hatcher's Run, the 10th Corps 
was ordered to retire out of reach of the enemy's guns under cover 
of the night. 

The 97th P. V. was commanded by Capt. George W. Hawkins, 
Company I During the engagement, it was temporarily detached 
and sent to support the 1st brigade, commanded by Col. N. M. 
Curtis, 142d N. Y. The Regiment distinguished itself anew in a 
brilliant charge upon a salient of the enemy's works, in order to 
straighten the line and make complete connection between the 2d 
and 3d divisions. The attack was successful. An officer who wit- 
nessed the charge, said to Col. Pennypacker: "That's the d st 

regiment of yours to fight I ever saw. It seems to think of nothing 
else." He was informed that this was the result of its early train- 
ing. The Regiment lost two killed, nine wounded and one taken pri- 
soner. Capt. Hawkins was severely wounded in the left leg. He 
was carried to the field hospital, where, early on the following 
morning, the injured limb was amputated. He, however, died soon 
after from prostration. After much difficulty, Lieut. Jones, quarter- 
master 97th P. v., succeeded in forwarding his remains to his father, 
in Upper Darby, Del. Co. He was buried in Mount Moriah Ceme- 
tery. His term of service expired and he was to have been 



332 HISTORT OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. [October, 

mustered out on the day he fell. A commission, as lieutenant 
colonel, was issued by Gov. Curtin and forwarded to his family on 
the day after the information of his death reached Harrisburg. 

Lieut. Thomas Cosgriff, Company F, was also wounded while in 
command of his company. He was sent to the U. S. Hospital, at 
Fortress Monroe, from which he was discharged, November 19, his 
term of service having expired. 

After Capt. Hawkins fell, the command of the Regiment again 
devolved upon Lieut. Wainwright, Company F. Being at the time 
detached from his brigade, he received no notice to retire with the 
other troops, and was left upon the field, with the Regiment, during 
the night, unsupported and exposed to capture. It, however, re- 
mained in its position until morning, when notice was sent to inform 
Lieut. Wainwright that the corps had returned to its former posi- 
tion, at Chapin's Farm, on the evening of the 29th, where the 97th 
P. V. then joined it and reoccupied its former camp. 

The third anniversary of the organization had now arrived. The 
changes that occurred during the year are here noted: seven hun- 
dred and six officers and men stood upon the roster to be ac- 
counted for on October 29, 1863; since that time one officer and 
eighteen recruits had joined, and two hundred and eighty-eight sub- 
stitutes were assigned to the Regiment, making a total of one thou- 
sand and thirteen, including the re-enlisted veterans; during the 
year, two field officers resigned and one staff' officer was discharged 
to accept promotion in another regiment; three staff officers were 
discharged by reason of expiration of term of service; two others 
were killed or died of wounds; three company officers resigned; six 
others were discharged on expiration of term of service; six for 
wounds or other disability; four were killed or died of wounds, 
making a total loss of twenty-seven officers; one man was dis- 
charged to accept promotion; one discharged by order of the War 
Department; twenty-six discharged on surgeon's certificate, many 
of them for wounds while absent in hospitals; two hundred and 
forty-one men were mustered out of service on account of expiration 
of term ; one hundred and seven men were killed or died of wounds ; 
thirty-four died of disease, mostly absent in hospitals, several in 
rebel prisons ; three were transferred to the U. S. Signal Corps ; four 
wounded men were transferred to the 16th Veteran Reserve Corps, 
one of whom received promotion ; nine substitutes (formerly of the 
re be a rmy) were transferred to the Department of the Northwest 



1864.] DISCHARGE AND MUSTER-OUT OF OFFICERS AND MEN. 333 

for frontier service; seven volunteers and seventy substitutes de- 
serted; four were recaptured, three of whom were executed for de- 
sertion; total loss in Regiment during the third year, five hundred 
and thirty, leaving a total of four hundred and eighty-three officers 
and men remaining in the Regiment. 

From May to November, 1864. the loss had been one hundred 
and thirteen killed or died of wounds; three hundred and thirteen 
wounded and thirty-nine captured, an aggregate of four hundred 
and sixty-five, being a daily average loss of three men. 

The following officers were discharged during the month for 
wounds: Capt. Francis M. Guss and 2d Lieut. Isaac J. Burton, Com- 
pany A, on the 3d; Capt. William S. Mendenhall, Company D, on 
the 4th; all at Annapolis, Md. Capt. Jonas M. C. Savage, Com- 
pany B, on the 22d, at Washington, D. C. 

The following were mustered out during the month, at Chapin's 
Farm, Va., on account of expiration of term: Capt. D. W. C. Lewis, 
Company F, on the 3d; 1st Lieut. Gasway O. Yarnall, on the 14th; 
Capt. Caleb Hoopes, on the 17th; 2d Lieut. William H. Eves, on 
the 22d; all of Company G; Regimental Qr. Mr. David Jones, on 
the 31st. 

Capt. Lewis subsequently received brevet promotion, by the War 
Department, as major and lieutenant colonel, for faithful services. 
Qr. Mr. Jones also received brevet promotion, from the Governor of 
Pennsylvania, as captain and major. 

Several other officers, whose term of service had previously ex- 
pired, were mustered out at Chapin's Farm, in November. 

James Mc Williams, 2d lieutenant Company E, on the 3d, and 1st 
Lieut. John McGrath, same company (acting commissary of sub- 
sistence, 2d brigade), on the 10th; Surgeon J. R. Everhart, chief 
medical officer of 2d brigade, on the 12th. He was subsequently 
brevetted, by Gov. Curtin, as lieutenant colonel, in recognition of 
his faithful services. 

The original officers of the Regiment had now all been discharged 
or mustered -out of service excepting Col. Pennypacker. Of the 
original men, only the re-enlisted veterans remained. About one 
hundred and fifty men, recruits and conscripts, were received in No- 
vember, at Chapin's Farm. They were mostly for one year's service, 
forwarded from Philadelphia, from all parts of the State. They 
were a much better class of men than the substitutes of 1863. 

Henry Odiorne, 1st lieutenant Company D, acting commissary of 



334 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. [November, 

subsistence, at the corps hospital, returned to the Regiment for 
duty, at his own request, on the 15th. 

John Wain Wright, 1st lieutenant Company F, now the senior 
officer of the Regiment, had. been in command as ranking officer for 
several weeks. He had also assumed the company responsibility of 
five companies which had been left without a commissioned officer. 
It had been his desire to be mustered out of service at the expira- 
tion of his term, but he was induced to continue in command until 
an accession to the number of the Regiment should entitle it to the 
muster of an additional field officer. A commission as captain, to 
date from November 1, was received, but he declined to be mustered 
in that grade. Subsequent occurrences, in connection with the bril- 
liant movements in which the Regiment participated, determined 
him to accept the promotion that then presented. 

Most of the companies were, at this time, commanded by 1st 
sergeants. Commissions for the following worthy non-commissioned 
officers were received in November, viz.: 1st Sergt. William H. 
Martin, Company A, as 2d lieutenant: Qr. Mr. Sergt. Leonard R. 
Thomas, Company C, as 2d lieutenant, and 1st Sergt. Theodore M. 
Smedley, Company H, as 1st lieutenant. The latter, detailed as 

acting regimental adjutant, No- 
vember 6, remained upon that duty 
until wounded, two months later. 

The Regiment remained at Cha- 
pin's Farm, during November and 
part of December, performing in- 
trenchment and picket duty, with- 
out material incident to note. The 
position held was a very strong one. 
The camp of the Regiment was 

off'S^c^,s^uI^ters;7hI;"'in^s'fIrm. fi"«^^y situated near the right of the 

line occupied by the division. 
Hon. Edwin M. Stanton, Secretary of War, accompanied by Brig. 
Gens. Montgomery C. Meigs, chief quarter-master; Amos B. Eaton, 
chief commissary, and Joseph K. Barnes, surgeon general, visited 
the armies operating against Richmond and Petersburg, about this 
time, to inspect the condition of the troops, in order to provide 
whatever should be needed. Orders were now received for the 
troops to prepare winter quarters. To a body of raw recruits, the 
order, without a supply of material, would seem vague and irre- 




186*'] PEEPARATION OF WINTER QUARTERS. 335 

levant, in an enemy's country destitute of the ordinary supplies, 
but to the veterans the order implied business, material or no ma- 
terial. A correspondent, after alluding to the dilemma of the re- 
cruit, thus describes the veteran's efforts : 

"* * * Not so the veteran. If he be camped in the pine forest, 
give him an old axe, a bootleg, a raud-ptiddle, a board or two and a handful of 
nails, and he builds him a house — a bouse, too, comfortable and commodious, and 
not wanting in architectural beauty. First, he fells his trees, then cuts and 
notches his logs, and lays them together to the required height. His roof he puts 
on, giving it a great slope and thatching it with the green of the pine tops. He 
has been careful to leave window spaces, and tacking pieces of shelter tents 
over these, he has provided light, but keeps out the nipping air of winter. 
Then, with his board, he makes his door, and the bootleg supplying the hinges, 
it soon swings in its place. Then he fills the spaces between the logs with soft 
earth from his mud-puddle and his house is done except the chimney. The forest 
and the mud-puddle soon provide that, for his chimney is nothing but a pile of 
sticks plentifully plastered within and without with mud. Then, with his old 
axe, he manufactures, out of pine logs, a full assortment of furniture — bed- 
steads, chairs, table, wardrobe and generally adds a mantel. Lastly, with a bright 
fire upon his hearth, he is prepared to laugh at winter and to welcome his 
friends. * * * " 

The pine woods 
around Chapin's Farm 
were soon leveled for 
miles — neat and com- 
fortable quarters were 
constructed as above 
described. Many of 
them had brick fire- 
places, the bricks being j^^^^ ^^,^^ ^^^ chapin's far.«. 
obtained from houses 

that in army parlance "went up," passed out of existence in a 
day, to furnish material for chimneys and doors for the winter 
quarters of the Army of the James. These snug log huts gave 
each regiment the appearance of a little \;illage, neatly laid out in 
streets. 

On November 22, Chaplain David W. Moore, having tendered his 
resignation on account of failing health from exposure, which being 
accepted by Gen. Butler, he then prepared to return to his home at 
Centreville, Delaware. When about to leave the Regiment, he ad- 
dressed the following words of farewell : 




336 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. [November, 

Head-Quarters 91tb. P. V., Chapin's Farm, Va., 

November 22, 1864. 
OrnCERS AND Men of the 97th P. V. 

We are about to bid you farewell, after having been associated witb you during 
a memorable period of your history, viz.: that of infliction of heavy casualties; we 
have seen your noble ranks broken by that stern destroyer. Death I but while 
we have seen the flower of the 97th P. Y. cut down, by the cruel hands of war, 
we have beheld the sun of glory to arise and shine upon the heads of those who 
have survived the terrible conflict and upon the graves of your comrades. The 
dead upon the bloody battle fields of Bermuda Hundred, Cold Harbor, Peters- 
burg, Deep Bottom and Chapin's Bluff attest the bravery and glory of the 
historic 97th P. V. The sun of honor has risen over you, as a regiment, never 
to set until time shall be no longer. And, while painful emotions arise in our 
hearts, as we recall the names of the honored dead, yet theirs are "sweet 
memories indeed," for we delight to dwell upon their heroism as soldiers of their 
country, and we need no appliance of marble or epitaph to preserve the record 
of their heroic character, for such is engraved upon our hearts never to be effaced 
or forgotten. 

In b'dding you farewell, feelings of sadness mingle with those of joy; strong 
attachments have already sprung up, the severing of which ties now gives pain. 
The very circumstances under which our friendship has been formed — those of 
Virar — which renders a separation liable at any moment, knits more strongly the 
cords of attachment. Besides, we are loath to leave a faithful band of men, in 
whom we feel such a deep interest and who have treated us with such kindness 
and respect, exposed to the further ravages of war. And we can but regret that 
our labors have not been more efficient in doing good as an army chaplain. But 
it is pleasant to recall to mind your deeds of noble daring, of which we have 
been an eye witness; and the lives and characters of the officers and men of the 
97th P. V. It is a pleasure to know that you, as a regiment, have won unfading 
laurels and that renown is yours. Then it gives us pleasure to remember how 
you have received us as a minister of Christ; we have had the most hearty co- 
operation on the part of the officers of the 97th P. V. in the performance of our 
duties as chaplain. The attention you have given to our feeble instructions from 
the word of God has been always good and reflects great credit upon you as 
soldiers. Then, nothing unpleasant has been permitted to mar our happiness, 
interrupt our peaceful associations or to de.stroy our usefulness among you. And 
we derive some pleasure from the sense of having endeavored to be faithful in 
counseling you as a spiritual teacher. As man, we are fallible — "To err is 
human," and we claim no exception in this respect. But, whatever we have 
done or left undone, the record is now sealed, the recording angel has completed 
his task and we have to wait the final day of review, when we all shall read 
together what has been written, every thought, word and deed. Oh ! that we all 
may hail such a day with joy, and not with grief and sorrow. And that such a 
privilege and blessing may be yours as that of meeting God — on the great plains 
of the judgment day — reconciled, and your friend in and through His Son, 
Jesus Christ, and our dear Saviour; we exhort you once again to become as 
good soldiers of the cross as you have been and are of the crown. Fight as 
manfully the battles of faith as you have fought those of your country. Conquer 



1864.] REORGANIZATION OF THE ARMY OF THE JAMES. 337 

the rebellion of sin and wickedness in your own hearts — as certainly as you will 
conquer this rebellion against our free institutions of Liberty and Union — and a 
spiritual victory will be yours also; unfading crowns of glory will cover your 
heads and the sun of eternal peace will rise to shine upon you forevermore. To 
the God of all grace, Father, Son and Holy Ghost, we prayerfully commit and 
eommeud you all, in life, in death and in eternity. 

Officers and soldiers of the 97th P. V., we bid you a kind and eflfectionate fare- 
well. D. W. Moore, Chaplain 9nh P. V. 

In response to this farewell, Col. Pennypacker addressed the fol- 
lowing testimonial letter to the late chaplain: 

Head-Quartbes 2d Brigade, 2d Division, 10th A. C, in the Field, Va., 

November 22, 1864. 
I deem it my simple duty to Chaplain David W. Moore to say that he leaves 
the 9Tth Reg., Pa. Vols, with the kind wishes and warm thanks of all its 
members. By his departure, the service loses a valuable officer; the cause of 
Christian religion, a true disciple in the field; and the soldier, a sincere and de- 
voted friend. With one accord, we all say fervently, "May God be with him." 

G. Pennypacker, 

Col. 97th Regt. Pa. Vols. 

Chaplain Moore had served diligently and faithfully for a period 
of six months of most arduous and exposing service. He was 
greatly respected and beloved by both officers and men of the Regi- 
ment and brigade. The author especially remembers his kind at- 
tention and care,' upon the occasion of his illness, with feelings of 
appreciative gratitude. His kindly courtesy was manifest in his in- 
tercourse with all, and his departure from the Regiment was uni- 
versally regretted. 

On December 2, 1864, the Army of the James was reorganized, 
the lOth Corps and 18th Corps being consolidated to constitute the 
24th Army Corps. The colored troops of those corps, together with 
those of the 9th Corps, constituted the 25th Corps. Maj. Gen. E. 
0. C. Ord was placed in command of the 24th, and Maj. Gen. God- 
frey Weitzel in command of the 25th Corps. The 1st and 2d divi- 
sions of the 24th Corps formerly belonged to the 10th Corps, and 
the 3d division of the 24th Corps to the 18th Corps; the 2d divi- 
sion being the same organization as when in the 10th Corps, with 
Col. G. Pennypacker still in command of the 2d brigade; the 
only change in the division being the assignment of Brig. Gen. 
Adelbert Ames to its command. The 10th and 18th Corps were, 
however, reconstructed after the capture of Fort Fisher. 

22 



338 



HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. [December 



CHAPTER XL 

Department of North Carolina; Butler's Expedition to Fort 
Fisher; Terry and Porter Capture Fort Fisher; Advance 
UPON Wilmington; Occupation of Goldsboro' and Raleigh; 
Lee's Surrender to Grant; Johnson's Surrender to Sherman; 
Occupation of Gaston and Weldon, N. C; Muster-out and 
Return Home; December, 1864, to August 28, 1865. 




REPARATIONS were now being made for a forward 
movement in the Department of North Carolina and 
operations directed with especial reference to the 
early reduction of Fort Fisher. This strong work 
defended the entrance, by the Cape Fear River, to 
Wilmington, N. C, by far the most important of the 
few seaports still in possession of the enemy. Its 
strategic value was the greater because our navy 
could not perfectly seal it by blockade. Rear Ad- 
miral David D. Porter, commanding the North Atlantic Squadron, 
had collected, early in November, in Hampton Roads, the largest 
flotilla ever assembled for an assault on a single point. Unusual 
attention was attracted to these preparations by northern journals, 
more desirous of giving their readers information than careful to 
count the consequence of giving, also, the enemy all they desired to 
know of important movements of the army and navy, causing the 
expedition to be delayed until late in December. 

Gen. Butler had conceived the project of a torpedo vessel, to be 
disguised as a blockade runner, and charged with two hundred and 
fifty tons of powder, to be run under the sea-wall of Fort Fisher 
at night, and there exploding it by a fuse, trusting that at least the 
garrison would be so paralyzed by the resulting shock as to facilitate 
a prompt seizure of the fort by its besiegers. Some delay occurred 
in these preparations. An old war-worn propeller, the Louisiana, 
was dismantled and prepared, under the direction of Admiral Porter, 



^861-] OPERATIONS AGAINST FORT FISHER. 339 

and the requisite means of securing the success of the project were 
adopted. 

At sunset, on the 7th of December, the land forces, under com- 
mand of Maj. Gen. Godfrey Weitzel, left camp, at Chapin's Farm, 
Va. About three thousand, officers and men, had been selected 
from the 2d division of the 24th Corps, commanded by Brig. Gen. 
Adalbert Ames; a like number of colored troops from the 3d divi- 
sion of the 25th Corps, commanded by Brig. Gen. Charles J. Paine; 
Company E 3d U. S. Art'y, commanded by 1st Lieut. John R. 
Myrick, vi^ith six pieces of field artillery, and the 16th N. Y. Inde- 
pendent Light Battery, commanded by Capt. Richard H. Lee, to- 
gether v?ith a company of the 1st N. Y. Engs., commanded by 1st 
Lieut. Charles B. Parsons, the whole comprising about six thou- 
sand five hundred, officers and men. Crossing the James River, at' 
Deep Bottom, the march was continued through a heavy rain, to 
the signal tower, near Point of Rocks, where the troops were or- 
dered to bivouac for the night. 

Col. G. Fred. Granger, of the 9th Maine, remained in command 
of the camp of the division, at Chapin's Farm; Capt. James A. 
Barnett, of the 48th N. Y., in command of the brigade detachment, 
and 1st Lieut. William H. Martin in charge of recent conscripts 
and convalescents at the camp of the 97th P. V., with instructions 
to maintain squad drill, camp guard, etc, Lieut. Martin was also 
acting assistant adjutant general at division head-quarters. 

The troops embarked on ocean transports early on the morning 
of the 8th. Col. Pennypacker's brigade, numbering eleven hun- 
dred men, was put on board the steamers Perriott, L. Moore and 
Idaho. 

At 3 A. M. on the 13th, Gen. Butler, who accompanied the 
expedition, gave the signal for starting, and, in order to mislead 
the enemy as to its destination, proceeded up Chesapeake Bay 
and Potomac River, to Matthias Point, in view of the scouts and 
signal men of the enemy, returning the following night to anchor 
under the lee of Cape Charles. 

On the 14th, the 'transports went to sea, arrived off" New Inlet 
on the 15th, and came to anchor soon after at the rendezvous at 
Masonboro' Inlet. 

Porter's fleet arrived off Beaufort, N. C, on the 16th, and having 
to procure ammunition there for his monitors, did not arrive at New 
Inlet until the evening of the 18th. Having previously succeeded 



340 



HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. [December, 



in getting soundings of the beach within one hundred and fifty 
yards of the works, Admiral Porter prepared to send in the powder 
boat Louisiana; but, upon information that the transports of Gen. 
Butler had nearly exhausted their supply of coal and water, and 
the gale increasing in severity, operations were delayed. The trans- 
ports returned to Beaufort to replenish ; the continuance of the gale 
prevented their return until the 24th. 

After the storm ceased the sea went down rapidly. The night of 
the 23d was clear and fair — the wind light from N. N. W. Admiral 
Porter having determined to attack on the next day, the 24th, had 
sent word to Gen. Butler to that effect. Porter, at 10 P. M., 
without waiting for the arrival of Butler's force, ordered Com- 
mander Alexander C. Rhind to proceed in at once and blow up the 
powder boat. That intrepid and gallant officer, with a few men of 
equal bravery, successfully carried out the plan of conducting the 




LAND AND SEA FKONT OF PORT FISHER. 



Louisiana to the designated position, and, setting the clock at 11.50 
P. M., to run an hour and a half before exploding the powder, re- 
turned to the Wilderness, awaiting them. At 1.40 A. M., a huge 
column of fire rushed straight upward; four loud explosions followed 
at intervals of about half a second and all was darkness. The ex- 
plosion, however, failed to damage the enemy's works. It was in- 
tended to have been followed by an immediate bombardment and 
the landing of Butler's forces upon the peninsula above the fort. 

It was 1 1.30 A. M., on the 24th, when Porter's fleet advanced 
and began the bombardment. A rapid, accurate and terrible fire 
was concentrated upon the fort, which opened briskly in return, but 
the well-directed range of the fleet had such eff'ect as to silence 
the enemy's guns in about seventy-five minutes, it also set on fire 
the combustible material and exploded two of the magazines. The 
fire was continued without interruption until sunset. By this time 
Gen. Butler's transports had returned. 

At 7 A. M., on the 25th, the bombardment was renewed and con- 
tinued for several hours, the enemy responding for a short time with 
two guns only. A portion of Porter's vessels drew off, having ex- 



188*1 OPERATIONS AGAINST FORT FISHER. 341 

hausted theii^ ammunition. The iron clads were ordered to continue 
the fire throughout the night. 

In the meantime, on the morning of the 24th, the transports of 
Gen. Ames' division anchored near the shore, two and a half miles 
north of Fort Fisher, and commenced debarking the troops. The 
1st brigade advanced its skirmishers and, while the 2d brigade (Col. 
Pennypacker's), was landing, the enemy opened a slight infantry fire, 
which was quickly silenced. 

Gen. Weitzel advanced Col. Curtis' brigade (the 1st) upon a re- 
connoissance toward the fort, reaching to within eight hundred 
yards of it. He then pushed forward a strong skirmish line to 
within one hundred and fifty yards, capturing a small outwork called 
Flag Pond Hill Battery, mounting one eight-inch gun, with two 
officers and sixty-five men, belonging to the 17th and 42d N. C, of 
Kirkland's brigade. They held out a white flag as the force ad- 
vanced with them. The navy sent boats and took the prisoners on 
board the fleet. 

Gen. Weitzel's observations having convinced him that Fort 
Fisher was exceedingly strong, and that its defensive power had not 
been essentially injured by Porter's fire, he returned, as directed, to 
Gen. Butler and reported that it would be unsafe to assault such a 
work with sixty-five hundred men. Gen. Butler, disappointed, then 
ran his vessel close in shore to observe the works, and reluctantly 
acquiesced in Weitzel's decision. In the interval between Weitzel 
leaving the fort and reporting to Gen. Butler, Curtis reported to 
Ames that he could take the fort. Ames then sent the remainder of 
his division forward to make the attempt. At some distance from 
the small battery already captured by Curtis was another of similar 
construction, called Half Moon Battery. This, Col. Rufus Daggett's 
regiment, the 117th N. Y., dashed rapidly upon and secured, 
taking prisoners a major, five other oflicers and two hundred and 
eighteen men. Curtis continued to advance, his skirmish line reach- 
ing within from fifty to seventy-five yards of the fort, protected by 
the glacis, constructed in such manner as to give cover, the garri- 
son being kept in their bombproofs by the fire of the navy. A 
number of men on the skirmish lines were here wounded by the 
shell from the fleet. By the time Curtis had reached this position 
it was dark. The navy had almost ceased its fire; the enemy began 
to man their guns again. The order to retire had been received by 
Gen. Ames, and Curtis was recalled just as he had disposed his force 



342 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. [December, 

for an assault. There was no choice left but to obey the positive 
order, which, if delayed fifteen minutes, would have been too late to 
have prevented the demonstration of the unsolved problem, " Could 
Fort Fisher have been then taken by the troops before itl" Curtis 
believed that it could if his brigade was properly supported and re- 
inforced by the remainder of the division; and the remainder of 
the division only needed the command "Forward" to have followed 
him as closely as it did subsequently. 

The aggregate force of the garrison was afterward ascertained to 
have been one thousand and seventy-seven men, of which two hun- 
dred and fifty were of the junior reserves, fifty sailors, the remain- 
der well-disciplined veteran troops, all under command of Col. Wil- 
liam Lamb, acting under direction of Maj. Gen. William H. C. 
Whiting, provisional army C. S. 

As the troops retired, the guns of the fort and a sharp fire of 
musketry swept the beach over which they moved. 

The casualties to our force were one officer captured, about fifteen 
men wounded, by our shells, in the skirmish line, and one was sub- 
sequently drowned in the surf while re-embarking. The number 
of prisoners captured was eight officers and two hundred and eighty- 
three men. Owing to the difficulty of landing supplies for his men. 
Gen. Butler now determined to withdraw his force and return to 
Fortress Monroe. 

The re-embarking of the troops was attended with great diffi- 
culty on account of the roughness of the sea ; it occupied all of the 
26th. About three hundred of the 1st brigade remained ashore until 
the morning of the 27th." After reaching Fortress Monroe, the 
land force proceeded to their former position at Chapin's Farm. 

Commissions had been received, during December, for 2d Lieut. 
William H. Martin, Company A, as 1st lieutenant; 2d Lieut. Leo- 
nard R. Thomas, Company C, as 1st lieutenant; Sergt. Maj. Chey- 
ney T. Haines, Company G, as 1st lieutenant, and 1st Sergt. Phares 
P. Brown, Company H, as 2d lieutenant. The warrant of sergeant 
major was then given to Corp. Henry R. Coates, Company K, and 
that of quarter-master sergeant to Corp. John H. , Brower, Com- 
pany F. 

The failure of Butler's expedition and the withdrawal of his 
force gave rise to much controversial comment. Porter was cre- 
dited with saying, with logical force, " I don't pretend to put my 
opinion in opposition to that of Gen. Weitzel, who is a thorough 



1884.] grant's instructions TO GENERAL WEITZEL. 343 

soldier and an able engineer, and whose business it is to know more 
of assaulting than I do, but I cannot help thinking that it was 
worth while to make the attempt after coming so far." 

Gen. Grant was profoundly dissatisfied; he had intended "Weitzel 
to have commanded the expedition, but had acquiesced in Gen. 
Butler accompanying at his urgent request. Grant's instructions 
for the guidance of Weitzel had been through courtesy communi- 
cated to Butler," as the department commander, in the following 
letter : » 

Head-Quaetees, Armies of the United States, 
City Point, Ya., December 6, 1864. 

General: The first object of the expedition under General Weitzel is to 
close to the enemy the port of Wilmington. If successful in this, the second 
will be the capture of Wilmington itself. There are reasonable grounds to hope 
for success, if advantage can be taken of the absence of a great part of the 
enemy's forces, now looking after Sherman in Georgia. The directions you have 
given for the number and equipment of the expedition are all right, except in the 
unimportant one of where they embark and the amount of intrenching tools to be 
taken. The object of the expedition will be gained on affecting a landing on the 
main land between Cape Fear River and the Atlantic, north of the north entrance 
to the river. Should such landing be effected, whiither the enemy hold Fort 
Fisher or the batteries guarding the entrance to the river there, the troops should 
intrench themselves, and by co-operating with the navy effect the reduction and 
capture of those places. These in our hands, the navy could enter the harbor 
and the port of Wilmington would be sealed. Should Fort Fisher and the point 
of land on which it is built fall into the hands of our troops immediately on land- 
ing, it will be worth the attempt to capture Wilmington by a forced march and 
surprise. 

If time is consumed in gaining the first object of the expedition, the second 
will become a matter of after consideration. 

The details for the execution are intrusted to you and the officers immediately 
in command of the troops. 

Should the troops under General Weitzel fail to effect a landing at or near 
Fort Fisher, they will be returned to the army operating against Riclimond 

without delay. 

TJ. S. Grant, Lieutenant General. 
Major Geneeal Butlee, 

Commanding Army of the James. 

Gen. "Weitzel, having advised and concurred in the impropriety of 
an assault with their present force, claims to have been unaware of 
the purport or existence of the above order until it was published 
in Gen. Butler's report. Had it reached him, or had he been placed 
in command of the expedition — he says, in his testimony before the 
Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War — " If I had had the in- 
structions that Gen. Grant gave to Gen. Butler, I should have done 



344 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. [January, 

one thing that Gen. Butler did not do; I would have intrenched and 
remained there.'' 

Gen. Butler was relieved of his command on January 7, 1865; 
no doubt in consequence of this failure. Maj. Gen. E. O. C. Ord 
was then placed in command of the department, and Maj. Gen. 
John Gibbon, commanding 2d division, 2d Corps, was assigned to 
the command of the 24th Corps (Ord's), which he retained until the 
close of the war. 

Upon being reUeved, Gen. Butler issued the following farewell to 
the troops: 

Head-Quarters, Department op Virginia and North Carolina, 
Army of the James, January 8, 1865. 

Soldiers op the Army op the James : Tour commander, relieved by order 
of the President, takes leave of you. Your conduct in the field has extorted 
praises from the unwilling. Tou have endured the privations of the camp and 
the march without a murmur. You have never failed to attack when ordered. 
You have stormed and carried works deemed impregnable by the enemy. You 
have shown the positions to be so, by holding them against his fiercest assaults 
in the attempts to retake them. Those skilled in war have marvelled at the ob- 
stacles overcome by your valor. Your line of works has excited the wonder of 
officers of other nations, who have come to learn defensive warfare from the 
monuments of your skilled labor. Your deeds have rendered your names illus- 
trious. In after times your general's proudest memory will be to say with you, 
"I, too, was of the Army of the James." To have such companionship is 
pleasure. To participate in such acts is honor. To have commanded such an 
army is glory. No one could yield it without regret. Knowing your willing 
obedience to orders, witnessing your ready devotion of your blood in your coun- 
try's cause, I have been chary of the precious charge confided to me. I have 
refused to order the useless sacrifice of the lives of such soldiers, and I am re- 
lieved from your command. The wasted blood of my men does not stain my gar- 
ments. For my actions I am responsible to God and my country. 

To THE Colored Troops op the Army op the James: In this army you 
have been treated not as laborers but as soldiers. You have shown yourselves 
worthy of the uniform you wear. The best officers of the Union seek to com- 
mand you. Your bravery has won the admiration even of those who would be 
your masters. Your patriotism, fidelity and courage have illustrated the best 
qualities of manhood. With the bayonet you have unlocked the iron-barred 
gates of prejudice, opening new fields of freedom, liberty and equality of right 
to yourselves and your race forever. 

Comrades of the Army of the James, I bid you farewell 1 farewell! 

Benj. F. Butler, Major General. 

Admiral Porter's fleet remained off Fort Fisher, N. C. Gen. 
Grant determined upon a second expedition to that point and se- 
lected Brig, and Brevet Maj. Gen. A. H. Terry, commander of the 



1865.] grant's instructions TO GENERAL TERRY. 345 

1st division, 24th Corps, to command the land force. Gen. Grant's 
instructions to Gen. Terry were as follows : 

City Point, Va., January 3, 1865. 

General: The expedition entrusted to your command has been fitted out to 
renew the attempt to capture Fort Fisher. N. C, and Wilmington ultimately, if 
the fort falls. You will then proceed with as little delay as possible to the naval 
fleet lying off Cape Fear River, and report the arrival of yourself and command 
to Admiral D. D. Porter, commanding North Atlantic blockading squadron. 

It is exceedingly desirable that the most complete understanding should exist 
between yourself and the naval commander. I suggest, therefore, that yon 
consult with Admiral Porter freely, and get from him the part to be performed 
by each branch of the public service, so that there may be unity of action. It 
would be well to have the whole programme laid down in writing. I have 
served with Admiral Porter, and know that you can rely on his judgment and 
his nerve to undertake what he proposes. I would, therefore, defer to him as 
much as is consistent with your own responsibilities. The first object to be at- 
tained is get a firm position on the spit of land on which Fort Fisher is built, 
from which you can operate against that fort. You want to look to the prac- 
ticability of receiving your supplies and to defending yourself against superior 
forces sent against you by any of the -avenues left open to the enemy. If such a 
position can be obtained, the siege of Fort Fisher will not be abandoned until its 
reduction is accomplished or another plan of campaign is ordered from these 
head-quarters. 

My own views are that, if you effect a lauding, the navy ought to run a portion 
of their fleet into Cape Fear River, while the balance of it operates on the out- 
side. Land forces cannot invest Fort Fisher, or cut it off from supplies or rein- 
forcements, while the river is in possession of the enemy. 

A siege train will be loaded on vessels and sent to Fortress Monroe, in readi- 
ness to be sent to you if required. All other supplies can be drawn from 
Beaufort as you need them. 

Keep the fleet of vessels with you until your position is assured. When yon 
find they can be spared, order them back, or such of them as you can spare, to 
Fortress Monroe, to report for orders. 

In case of failure to effect a landing, bring your command back to Beaufort, 
and report to these head-quarters for further instructions. You will not debark 
at Beaufort until so directed. 

General Sheridan has been ordered to send a division of troops to Baltimore , 
and place them on sea-going vessels. These troops will be brought to Fortress 
Monroe and kept there on the vessels until you are heard from. Should you 
require them they will be sent to you. 

U. S. Grant, Lieutenant General. 

Brevet Maj. Gen. A. H. Terry. 

On January 2, 1865, the same tr<5ops, with the addition of Ab- 
bott's brigade of the 1st division, 24th Corps, numbering about one 
thousand five hundred men, and a small siege train, embarked on 



346 



HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. 



[January, 



transports in the James Eiver and proceeded to Hampton Roads. 
Arrangements for the starting of the second expedition were made 
by Lieut. Col. William L. James, chief quarter-master Department 
of Virginia and North Carolina, who was subsequently promoted 




PLAN OP LAND AND NAVAL OPEBATIONS AT FORT FISHER. 

to brevet brigadier general, for the secrecy and celerity with which 
he collected and equipped the transports, by which means the expe- 
dition was sent to sea, on January 6, without its destination be- 
coming known; it arrived at the place of rendezvous, off Beaufort, 
N. C, on January 8, being delayed by a severe storm. 



, 1865.] terry's report OF THE CAPTURE OF FORT FISHER. 347 

r 

Owing to unpropitious weather, the fleet remained off Beaufort 
until the morning of the 12th, when it got under way and reached 
Federal Point, N. C, the same evening and disembarked about four 
miles north of Fort Fisher, on the 13th. 

The account of the movements against Fort Fisher is best given 
in the words of Gen. Terry's report to Gen. Eawlins, chief of staff 
to Gen. Grant, from which the following extracts are made : 

* * * At 4 A. M., on the 13th, the inshore division of naval 

vessels stood in close to the beach to cover the landing; the transports followed 
and took position in line parallel to the naval vessels and about two hundred 
yards in rear of thera. The iron clads moved to within range of the fort and 
opened fire upon it. * * * At 3 P. M., nearly eight thousand men, 
with three days' rations in haversacks and forty rounds of ammunition in cartridge- 
boxes; six days' supply of hard bread in bulk, three hundred thousand additional 
rounds of small arm ammunition and a sufficient number of intrenching tools 
had been safely landed. * * * 

As soon as the troops had commenced landing, pickets were thrown out; 
they immediately encountered outposts of the enemy and shots were exchanged, 
but no serious engagement occurred. A few prisoners were taken, from whom I 
learned that Hoke's rebel division, which it was supposed had been sent further 
south, was still here and that it was his outposts which we were meeting. 
* * * Shortly before 5 P. M., leaving Abbott's brigade to cover our 
stores, the troops were put in motion for a position about three miles from the 
fort, where the maps showed a large pond occupying nearly one third of the 
width of the peninsula. On arriving at it, the pond was found to be a sand-flat, 
sometimes covered with water, giving no assistance to the defence of a line es- 
tablished behind it. Nevertheless, it was determined to get a line across at this 
place, and Paine's division, followed by two of Ames' brigades, including Penny- 
packer's, made their way through. The night was very dark, much of the ground 
was a marsh and illy adapted to the construction of works, and the distance was 
found to be too great to be properly defended by the troops which could be spared 
from the direct attack upon the fort. It was not until 9 P. M. that Paine reached 
the river. 

The ground still nearer the fort was then reconnoitered and found to be much 
better adapted to our purposes. Accordingly, the troops were withdrawn from 
their last position and established on a line about two miles from the works. 
They reached this final position, at 2 o'clock A. M. on the 14th. Tools were 
immediately brought up and the intrenchments were commenced. At 8 o^cloc/c 
A. M., a good breastwork, reaching from the river to the sea and partially 
covered by abattis, had been constructed, and was in a defensible condition. It 
was much improved afterw^ard, but from this time our foothold on the peninsula 
was secured. 

Early on the morning of the 14th, the landing of the artillery was commenced, 
and by sunset all the light guns were gotten on shore. During the following 
night they were placed on the line — most of them near the river, where the enemy, 
in case he should attack us, would be least exposed to the fire of the gunboats 



348 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. [January 

Curtis' brigade of Ames' division was moved down toward Fort Fisher, 
during the morning, and at noon his skirmishers, after capturing on their way a 
small steamer, which had come down the river with shell and forage, for the 
garrison of the fort, reached a small unfinished outwork in front of the west end 
of the land front of the work. Brig. Gen. Curtis, Lieut. Col. (now brevet briga- 
dier general) Comstoek, the chief engineer of the expedition, and myself, under 
the protection of the fire of the fleet, made a careful reconnoissance of the work, 
getting within six hundred yards of it. * * * As the result of this 
reconnoissance, and in view of the extreme difficulty which might be expected 
in landing supplies, and the material for a siege on the open and often tem- 
pestuous beach, it was decided to attempt an assault the next day, provided that, 
in the meantime, the fire of the navy should so far destroy the palisades as to 
make one practicable. * * * 

The fire of the navy continued during the night. At 8 o'clock A. M., on the 
15th, all of the vessels, except a division left to aid in the defence of our northern 
line, moved into position, and a fire, magnificent alike for its power and accuracy, 
was opened. 

Ames' division had been selected for the assault. Paine was placed in com- 
mand of the defensive line, having with him Abbotts' brigade in addition to his 
own division. Ames' 1st brigade (Curtis') was already at the outwork above 
mentioned and in trenches close around it. His other two brigades. Penny- 
packer's and Bell's, were moved, at noon, to within supporting distance of him. 
At 2 o'clock, preparations for the assault were commenced. Sixty sharp-shooters 
from the 13th Ind. Vols., armed with Spencer repeating carbines, and forty 
others, volunteers from Curtis' brigade, the whole under command of Lieut. Col. 
Lent, of the 13th Ind., were thrown forward, at a run, to within one hundred and 
seventy-five yards of the work. They were provided with shovels, and soon 
dug pits for shelter and commenced firing upon the parapet. As soon as this 
movement commenced, the parapet of the fort was manned, and the enemy's fire, 
both of musketry and artillery, opened. When the sharp-shooters were in po- 
sition, Curtis' brigade was moved forward, by regiment, at the double quick into 
line, about four hundred and seventy-five yards from the work. The men then 
lay down. This was accomplished under a sharp fire of musketry and artillery, 
from which, however, they soon sheltered themselves, by digging shallow 
trenches. 

When Curtis moved from the outwork, Pennypacker was brought up to it, and 
Bell was brought into line two hundred yards in his rear. Finding that a good 
cover for Curtis' men could be found on the reverse slope of a crest, sixty yards 
in rear of the sharp-shooters, they were again moved forward, one regiment at a 
time, and again covered themselves in trenches. Pennypacker followed Curtis 
and occupied the ground vacated by him, and Bell was brought up to the out- 
work. 

It had been proposed to blow up and cut down the palisades. Bags of powder 
with fuses attached had been prepared, and a party of volunteer axemen or- 
ganized ; but the fire of the navy had been so effective that it was thought un- 
necessary to use the powder. The axemen, however, were sent in with the 
leading brigade and did good service by making openings in portions of the 
palisading, which the fire had not been able to reach. 



1865.] terry's report OF THE CAPTURE OF FORT FISHER. 349 

At 3.25 P. M., all the preparations were completed; the order to move forward 
was given to Gen. Ames, and a concerted signal was made to Admiral Porter to 
change the direction of his Are. Curtis' brigade at once sprang from their 
trenches, and dashed forward in line. Its left was exposed to a severe enfilading 
fire, and it obliqued to the right, so as to envelope the left of the land front; the 
ground over which it moved was marshy and difficult, but it soon reached the 
palisades, passed through them and effected a lodgment on the parapet. * * 

When Curtis moved forward, Ames directed Pennypacker to move up to the 
rear of the sharp-shooters, and brought Bell up to Pennypacker's late position, 
and, as soon as Curtis got a foothold on the parapet, sent Pennypacker in to his 
support. He advanced, overlapping Curtis' right, and drove the enemy from the 
heavy palisading, which extended from the west end of the land face to the 
river, capturing a considerable number of prisoners [about four hundred]; then 
pushing forward to the left, the two brigades together drove the enemy from 
about one quarter of the land face. Ames then brought up Bell's brigade and 
moved it between the work and the river. 

On this side there was no regular parapet, but there was an abundance of 
cover afforded to the enemy by cavities from which sand had been taken for the 
parapets, the ruins of barracks and storehouses, the large magazines and by tra- 
verses, behind which they stubbornly resisted our advance. 

Hand-to-hand fighting of the most desperate character ensued, the huge 
traverses of the land face, being used sucoessively by the enemy, as breast- 
works, over the tops of which the contending parties fired into each other's 
faces. Nine of these were carried, one after another, by our men. * * * 

Until 6 o'clock, the fire of the navy continued upon that portion of the work 
not occupied by us; after that time, it was directed upon the beach, to prevent 
the coming up of reinforcements. * * * 

The fighting for the traverses continued until nearly 9 o'clock, two more of 
them being carried; then a portion of Abbott's brigade (which had been brought 
to the support of the assault), drove the enemy from their last remaining strong- 
hold, and the occupation of the work was completed. The same brigade, with 
Gen. Blackburn's regiment (27th TJ. S. Colored Troops), were immediately 
pushed down the point to Battery Buchanan, whither many of the garrison had 
fled. On reaching the battery, all of the enemy who had not been previously 
i>aptured were made prisoners; among them were Maj. Gen. Whiting and Col. 
Lamb, the commandant of the fort. * * * 

In all the works were found one hundred and sixty-nine pieces of artillery, 
nearly all heavy, over two thousand stand of small arms, considerable quantities 
of commissary stores, and full supplies of ammunition. Our prisoners numbered 
one hundred and twelve commissioned officers and one thousand nine hundred 
and seventy-one enlisted men. I have no words to do justice to the behavior of 
both officers and men on this occasion; all that men could do they did; better 
soldiers never fought. * * * Brig. Gen. Curtis and Cols. Pennypacker, 
Bell and Abbott, the brigade commanders, led them with the utmost gallantry. 

Curtis was wounded after fighting in ihe front rank, rifle in hand; Penny, 
packer, while carrying the standard of one of hi.s regiments, the 97th P. V., the 
first man in a charge over a traverse. Bell was mortally wounded near the 
palisades. I shall have the honor to submit a supplemental report in reference to 



350 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. [January, 

those subordinate officers and enlisted men who distinguished themselves on this 
occasion. I forward, herewith, Gen. Ames' report. 

[Signed] Alfred H. Terry, Maj. Gen. 

To Brig Gen. J. A. Rawlins, Chief of Staff, City Point, Ya. 

From Gen. Ames' report is extracted as follows : 

Head-Quarters, 2d Division, 24th A. C, Fort Fisher, N. C, 

January 16, 1865. 
To Capt. a. Terry, Ass't Adjt. Gen. 

I have the honor to submit the following report of the late movements and 
operations of this division. * * * 

At 3 P. M., on the 15th, we stormed Fort -Fisher. Brevet Brig. Gen. N. M. 
Curtis' brigade (the first) made a lodgment on the northwest angle of the fcrt. 
I immediately ordered up Col. G. Pennypacker's brigade (the second). The 
enemy were at once driven from the palisading extending from the fort to the 
river and about one-third of the work — its northwest angle — occupied by us. I 
then ordered up Col. L. Bell's brigade (the third), and moved it forward against 
and in rear of the sea face of the work, the ground being much obstructed by 
the ruins of the barracks, lumber and other rubbish ; and the enemy being pro- 
tected by traverses, and, taking advantage of the cover afforded by magazines, 
etc., checked our advance. Fighting of a most obstinate character continued 
until after dark, during which time we made considerable advancement on the 
left and captured about four hundred prisoners. 

About 8 P. M., Col. Abbott, with his brigade, completed the occupation of the 
face of the works extending from the ocean to the river. A general advance was 
now made and the fort occupied without opposition. 

The conduct of the officers and men of this division was most gallant. Aided 
by the fire of the navy, and an attacking column of sailors and marines along 
the sea-beach, we were able to pass over the open ground in front of the fort, 
through the gaps of the palisading in the ditch made by the naval fire, and finally 
to carry the work. 

The name of every officer and man engaged in this desperate conflict should be 
mentioned, but I shall at present only be able to give you a few of the most con- 
spicuous. It is to be hoped they all may be properly rewarded. * * * 
Gdl. O- Pennypacker, commanding 2d brigade, was seriously wounded while 
planting the colors of his leading regiment (the 91th P. V.) on the third traverse 
of the work. This officer was surpassed by none ; his absence during the remain- 
der of the day was most deeply felt and seriously regretted. * * * 

I here submit the names of the regimental commanders, and to them, in con- 
nection with the brigade commanders, is the credit due for the heroic conduct of 
their men. * * * Regimental commanders. * * * 2d 
brigade. * * * Ninety-Seventh Pennsylvania Volunteers, 1st Lieut. 
John Wainwright, commanding. 

Copies of reports of the brigade commanders will be forwarded. In them will 
be found lists of officers and men who particularly distinguished themselves. It 
is recommended that medals be bestowed upon all enlisted men mentioned. 
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

[Signed] A. Ames, Brigadier General of Volunteers 



1865.] 



PENNSYLVANIA TROOPS IN ACTION AT FORT FISHER. 



351 



From a published official account of the casualties at Fort Fisher 
this table is taken: 



BBIOADES. 


KILLED. 


WOUNDED. 


MISBINO. 


•total. 


OflBcevs. 


Men. 


Officers. 


Men. 


Men. 


O. & Men. 


Gen. Curtis', 
Col. Penny packer's, 
Col Bell's, 
Col. Abbott's, 


2 

1 

2 


35 

24 

1,5 

3 


18 

15 

4 

2 


160 

183 

105 

18 


9 

72 

11 


224 

301 

126 

34 


Aggregate, 


11 


n 


39 


466 


92 


685 



The foregoing reports show that the assault was one of the most 
brilliant, successful and important occurrences of the war. It may 
appear strange, however, that in most of the published accounts of 
this, as well as other important operations of the war, the presence 
and participation of Pennsylvania troops has been so entirely 
ignored. To those familiar with the forces mentioned in these offi- 
cial papers, it is evident that Pennsylvania troops and Pennsylvania 
valor contributed largely to the brilliant success at Fort Fisher. 
'I'he 2d brigade— composed of the 76th, 97th and 203d P. V., with 
the 47th and 48th N. Y., and commanded by a gallant son of that 
grand old commonwealth, nurtured in the lap of Valley Forge, 
Col. Galusha Pennypacker — was engaged, during the interval after 
landing and preceding the assault, in opening and establishitg a 
defensive line, across the peninsula, to guard the rear of Gen. 
Terry's forces ; and, at the time of moving upon the enemy's works, 
being second in the advance, followed rapidly and closely after the 
leading brigade in every movement and at the moment of reaching 
the fort its lines merged with and extended beyond the flank of the 
former. It entered with the first brigade into the terrific contest 
that ensued and continued with unabated fury until the final triumph 
and occupation of the enemy's works. The colors of three Penn- 
sylvania regiments were firmly planted upon the parapets amid a 
shower of leaden hail that swept down all the brigade and regi- 
mental commanders and many officers and men of those well-tried 
veteran regiments. From these reports, too, it is seen that Penny- 
packer's brigade suff'ered most, having the largest number of 
casualties and nearly double the number of officers killed of the 
remaining force engaged. 

It is not the purpose to claim for Pennsylvania soldiers or Penn- 
sylvania regiments a monopoly of the valor displayed, but simply 



352 



HISTORY OP THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. 



[January, 



to protest that the record of that brilliant affair should not always 
be presented as the result of the bravery and valor of the troops 
accredited to the States of New England and New York, with 
scarcely a recognition of the existence of the gallant regiments 
named from Pennsylvania, or of their brigade commander, in any 
appreciative estimate of the distinguished share both they and he 
bore in that brilliant action. 

The number of Pennsylvania soldiers in the field and theiVreal 
achievements bear a singular disproportion to the place assigned to 
them or their State, in certain journalistic reports of the most pro- 
minent events of the war. It seems that, in monopolizing the hte- 
rature of the war, the localities referred to have deemed it justifiable 
to appropriate the lion's share of the valor and the fruits of victory 
as well. 

Admiral Porter, in his report to the Secretary of the Navy, says: 

* * * It will not be amiss for me to remark here that I never saw 
anything like the fearless gallantry and endurance displayed by our troops. They 
fought like lions and knew no such word as fail. They finally fought and chased 
the rebels from traverse to traverse until they reached Battery Lamb, at the 




MOUND BATTBRT, KEAR FORT FISHEE. 



mound, a face of work extending about fourteen hundred yards in length. At 
this point the rebels broke and fled to the end of Federal Point; our troops fol- 
lowed them up and they surrendered at discretion. * * * 

* * * I have visited Fort Fisher and its adjoining works and 
found their strength greatly beyond what I had conceived. An engineer might 
be excusable in saying they could not be captured, except by regular siege. I 
wonder even now how it was done. * * * ipjjg works are tre- 
mendoup. I was in the Malakoff Tower, a few days after its surrender to the 
French and British. The combined armies of those two nations were many 
months capturing that stronghold, and it will not compare, either in size or 
strength, to Fort Fisher, and yet the latter was captured by a handful of men, 



1865.] THANKS OF THE NATION TENDERED BY SECRETARY STANTON. 353 

under the fire of the guns of the fleet, and in seven hours after the attack com- 
menced in earnest. * * * 

The world never saw such fighting as our soldiers did. * * * 

The capture of Fort Fisher was an event of the war that thrilled 
the country as did the victories at Vicksburg and Gettysburg, in- 
spiring the heart of the nation with renewed courage and hope. 

The Secretary of War, who had come down to observe the issue 
pentjing, was on the steam transport S. R. Spaulding, in the offing, 
an eye witness to the desperate conflict and of the unprecedented 
perseverance and daring that, at length, triumphed over the most 
obstinate and persistent defence of a work so formidable as has been 
described. He personally congratulated Admiral Porter and Gen. 
Terry on the day following and, in the name of the President of the 
United States, tendered the thanks of the nation to those officers, 
and the gallant officers and men of their respective commands, for 
the valor and skill that had been crowned with such signal success. 

On the 17th, the Secretary of the Navy ordered a national salute 
to be fired, at each of the government navy yards, in honor of the 
great victory. Gen. Grant also ordered a salute of one hundred 
guns by each of the armies along the entire line operating against 
Richmond and Petersburg, Ya. 

In a letter to the President, giving an account of the assault, 
Secretary Stanton says : 

* * * The assault on the other and most difficult side of the fort 
was made by a column of three thousand troops of the old 10th Corps, led by 
Gen. Curtis, under the immediate superintendence of Gen. Terry. * * * 

The conflict lasted for seven hours; the works were so constructed that every 
traverse afforded the enemy a new defensive position from which they had to be 
driven. * * * 

Gen. Curtis was severely wounded; Gol. Penny packer wan badly wounded; 
Col. Bell died of his wounds, on Monday morning, the day after the action; Col. 
J.W.Moore and Lieut. Col. Lyman were killed; Lieut. Col. Coan was badly 
wounded. * * * 

You will be pleased to know that perfect harmony and concert of action existed 
between the land and naval forces and their respective commanders. Admiral 
Porter and Gen. Terry vied in their commendation each of the other. Each 
seemed more anxious to do justice to the other than to claim anything for him- 
self, and they united in the highest commendation of the naval and military 
officers and the forces engaged. To this harmony of feeling and the confident 
spirit inspired may, perhaps, be attributed, in some degree, the success of our 
attack, with nearly equal numbers, against a resolute enemy in a work unsur- 
passed, if ever equalled, in strength, and which Gen. Beauregard, a few days 
before, pronounced impregnable. * * * 

[Signed] Edwin M. Stanton. 

23 



354 



mSTOEY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. [January, 



A letter from an officer of the Regiment thus describes the part 
it bore in this memorable assault: 

* * * We left the front, north of the James River, on December 7, 
and accompanied the Butler expedition to this place and returned with it to our 
old camping ground at Chapin's Farm. * * * After remaining in 
camp for three days, again embarked with Terry's expedition and were among 
the first to land on Federal Point, on January 13, where we lay two days, under 
the towering ramparts and frowning guns of Fort Fisher. At 1 P. M., on Sunday, 
the 15th, the troops were put in motion for the assault, the 97th P. V. being in 
the second line, at five hundred yards from the fort ; marched by the flank coolly 
and orderly, and filed by the right into line of battle across the open plain, in 
front of the fort, which was swept by grape and canister from every gun not 
disabled by the fire of the navy. Here we lay down, and, while awaiting orders 
to charge, threw up such protection as we could by digging with our hands into 
the sand, for we had left tin cups and plates in the rear. The gallant Regiment, 
with which I feel proud to claim a connection, went into action in neat fighting 
trim and bore itself throughout the assault in a manner worthy of the highest 
encomiums. * * * We had not long to lie under the withering 
shower of iron, for the 1st brigade suddenly sprang up and, with a yell, advanced 
upon the fort. This was the signal for the second line, which moved forward 
with a bound and soon overtook the 1st brigade and, with them, clambered up 
the steep walls of the fort, led by our gallant Col. Pennypacker, who commanded 
the brigade and to whose coolness, bravery and. skill it is indebted for its 
efficiency. 

We entered the west end of the fort and captured a number of prisoners at 
once, but the greater number of the enemy seemed disinclined to surrender. 
Then ensued a hand-to-hand conflict, which, for desperation and determination, 




IKTERIOR OP FORT FISHER. 



has not been surpassed since this war began. A series 'of traverses, each a fort 
itself, were charged and recharged, and for seven long hours the two armies 
fought furiously inside the fort. And not until 10 P. M. were the rebels finally 
subdued and forced to surrender, which was greeted with deafening cheers by the 
tired and weary soldiers and a display of hundreds of rockets by the naval fleet. 

Among the guns captured was a splendid one-hundred-and-fifty- 
pounder Armstrong, presented to the rebels by English friends. It 
had the hroad arrow on it, and Sir William Armstrong's name 



^865.] THE CASUALTIES AT FORT FISHER. 355 

marked on the trunnion. The solid mahogany carriage was partially 
destroyed by fire. 

Gen. Terry's loss was one hundred and ten killed and five hun- 
dred and thirty-six wounded. Brig. Gen. Curtis, commanding 1st 
brigade, Ames' division, was severely wounded in the head ; Col. 
Pennypacker, commanding 2d brigade, was dangerously wounded 
in the right hip, and Col. Bell, commanding 3d brigade, was mor- 
tally wounded and died next day. 

The following additional officers of the division were killed or 
mortally wounded: Col. John F. Smith, 112th N. Y.; Capt. John 
F. Thomas, 117 N. Y.; Capt. James M. Elliott, 142d N. Y.; Capt. 
James W. Dunn, 48th N. Y.; 1st Lieut. Stephen S. Olney, 115th 
N. Y.; Capt. Thomas L. McGlathery, 76th P. V. Col. John W. 
Moore, Lieut. Col. Jonas W. Lyman, Capt. Jacob T. Smallwood and 
1st Lieut. Matthias Hart, all of the 203d P. V., were killed. 

A large number of other officers of the division were wounded, 
many of them quite severely. 

In the assault upon Fort Fisher, the officers and men of the 97th 
P. V. gallantly sustained its well-earned reputation for reliability 
and valor in charging upon the enemy's most formidable works. 
Of eight officers and one hundred and seventy-one men who partici- 
pated in the action, one officer and five men were killed. The re- 
maining seven officers and thirty-two men were wounded, as follows : 
field and staff, one officer wounded; Company A, two men 
wounded; Company B, three men wounded; Company C, two men 
killed, one officer and five men wounded; Company D, one officer 
killed, one officer and four men wounded; Company E, three men 
wounded; Company F, one man killed, one officer and three men 
wounded; Company G, one man killed, one officer and one man 
wounded, officer mortally; Company H, two officers and three men 
wounded, one of the latter mortally; Company I, one man killed, 
one officer and six men wounded; Company K, two men wounded. 
Total: killed, one officer and five men ; wounded, seven officers and 
thirty- two men. Aggregate, forty-five officers and men. 

Col. Pennypacker fell just after he had placed the colors of his 
leading regiment, the 97th P. V., on the parapet. It was the first 
regimental flag on the enemy's works. The 117th N. Y., of the 
1st brigade, had planted a small guidon on the slope of the work so 
as to extend above the parapet; but Col. Pennypacker planted the 
colors of his Regiment squarely on the parapet, amid a shower of 



356 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. [January, 

bullets, and was immediately followed by Col. John W. Moore, of 
the 203d P. V., with the colors of his regiment. The flag of the 
97th P. V. was pierced by one hundred and seven bullets and a 
canister shot, and its staff cut in two in the action. The color 
bearer, Corp. William McCarty, Company D, was also severely 
wounded in the knee. Col. Pennypacker was immediately carried 
to the rear by his men. He was subsequently removed to Chesa- 
peake Hospital. 

John Wainwright, 1st lieutenant Company F, commanding Regi- 
ment, received a slight grape-shot wound in the right shoulder, 
before reaching the fort, but remained on duty. Capt. Henry 
Odiorne, Company D, a brave and efficient officer, just promoted, 
was killed while leading his company in the assault. His remains 
were subsequently sent home by his brother, 1st Sergt. David W. 
Odiorne, same company. 1st Lieut. Cheyney T. Haines, Company 
G, was mortally wounded in the thigh and died in hospital, at New 
York, two weeks later. This was the third time he had been 
wounded in action. 1st Lieut. Leonard R. Thomas, Company C, 
commanding company, was slightly wounded in the left leg, but re- 
mained on duty and was soon after detailed as acting adjutant, in 
place of Lieut. Smedley. 2d Lieut. Isaac B. Taylor, Company D, 
was wounded in the shoulder and sent to the hospital at Fortress 
Monroe. 1st Lieut. Theodore M. Smedley, Company H, acting ad- 
jutant, was also severely wounded in the right arm and side and 
sent to hospital at same place, and 1st Lieut. George W. Duffee, 
Company I, was slightly wounded in right leg. Many narrowly 
escaped. The clothes of several of the men were pierced by bullets 
without causing other injury than slight scratches and burns. 

The War Department soon after conferred brevet promotion for 
gallant and meritorious service, at Fort Fisher, upon the following 
officers of the 97th P. V., to date from March 13, 1865, viz.: Col. G. 
Pennypacker, as brevet brigadier general and brevet major general, 
U. S. Vols., to rank from January 15, 1865; 1st Lieut. John Wain- 
wright, Company F, as captain and major; 1st Lieut. Leonard R. 
Thomas, Company C; 1st Lieut. Cheyney T. Haines (died of his 
wounds), Company G, and 1st. Lieut. Theodore M. Smedley, Com- 
pany H, all as captains. 

After the surrender of Fort Fisher, the 97th P. V. occupied a 
position near the chief magazine, where it remained until the morn- 
ing of the 16th, when it was removed a short distance and another 



1865.] BREVET PROMOTIONS BY THE WAR DEPARTMENT. 357 

regiment took its place. Within an hour the magazine exploded 
with disastrous effect. About one hundred and eighty soldiers and 
sailors were killed or severely wounded. The Regiment narrowly 
escaped the calamity, which was supposed to be accidental. 

During the 16th and 17th of January, the enemy abandoned and 
blew up Fort Caswell, which stood upon a point of land across 
and commanded the mouth of Cape Fear River. They also aban- 
doned the extensive works at Smithville and Reves Point. These 
places vgere immediately occupied by the Union troops, thus obtain- 
ing entire control of the entrance to Cape Fear River. The enemy 
had fallen back to Fort Anderson and Wilmington, as the Union 
forces accumulated in their front. Those points were held with 
great determination by the rebel commander, Gen. Bragg. Gen. 
Terry now held a strongly-intrenched line across the peninsula, 
bounded by the ocean and Cape Fear River ; also, occupied Smith- 
ville and Fort Caswell, with his flanks covered by the fleet under 
Rear Admiral Porter. 

Fort Anderson, on the west bank of the river, was a strong earth- 
work, with a collateral line, strongly fortified, running to a large 
swamp, about three quarters of a mile distant. The enemy main- 
tained, also, a line on the peninsula, north of and confronting Terry's 
position, extending from Cape Fear River to Masonboro' or Myrtle 
Sound. Their position was impregnable to a direct attack, and 
could only be turned by crossing Myrtle Sound above their left 
wing or passing around the swamp which covered their right. 

The movement upon Wilmington, after the fall of Fort Fisher, 
was necessarily delayed until Gen. Terry's forces could be aug- 
mented by additional troops. 

The 97th P. V. had been engaged, with the other troops, in re- 
storing order to the environs of that place; subsequently, in move- 
ments to reconnoitre the position and strength of the enemy and 
in throwing up earthworks for the protection of the troops as they 
advanced upon the lines of the enemy. 

George W. Duffee, 1st lieutenant Company I, was now the only 
company officer present for duty. The following had received com- 
missions and were awaiting muster as 1st lieutenants: Dallas Crow, 
Company B; David W. Odiorne, Company D; Phares P. Brown, 
Company H, and William S. Underwood, Company K; George W. 
Middleton, Company I, as 2d lieutenant. 

The remainder of the division, at Chapin's Farm, Va., com- 



358 HISTORY OF THE NINETY- SEVENTH REGIMENT. [February, 

manded by Col. G. Fred. Granger, of the 9th Maine, left Virginia 
about February 9, and reached Federal Point about the 10th. 

Lieut. Martin, Company A, rejoined the Regiment with his 
detachment at Fort Fisher, about the 11th, having in the mean- 
time been mustered as captain. He thereupon assumed command 
of the Regiment as ranking officer. Lieut. Wainwright was now 
assigned to duty as acting adjutant, relieving Lieut. Thomas, Com- 
pany C. He continued to perform the duties of adjutant until mus- 
tered as lieutenant colonel in April, when he resumed command of 
the Regiment. 

Maj. Gen. John M. Schofield, commanding the 23d Corps, Army 
of the Tennessee, having been detached with his corps from Maj. 
Gen. George H. Thomas' command, after the battle of Nashville, 
Tenn., and ordered to report at Annapolis, Md., was then ordered 
to the command of the new department of Virginia and North Caro- 
lina. He landed with his corps at Federal Point on February 9. 

The land force was thus increased to about twenty-one thousand 
men. Gen. Terry had so admirably arranged his lines as to secure 
every available position from which to advance upon Hoke in his 
front, and was now ready to move forward. Gen. Schofield ordered 
a reconnoissance in force on the morning of February 11. The 23d 
Corps, having experienced the fatigue of a long and stormy sea 
voyage, was held in reserve while Gen. Terry's troops led the ad- 
vance. The 97th P. V. marched with Terry's command toward the 
enemy's position. Abbott's brigade and Col. John W. Ames' (6th 
U. ,S. Colored Troops) brigade on the right, while Gen. Ames' 
old division held the centre, and joined the brigade of Col. Elias 
Wright (10th U. S. Colored Troops), of Paine's division, on the left, 
which reached to the river; Battery E, 3d U. S. Art'y, 1st Lieut. 
John R. Myrick, also supporting the left. Skirmishing commenced 
soon after leaving our lines. The gunboats opened fire upon the 
enemy's position with marked eff'ect; part of the fleet moved cau- 
tiously up the river to within half a mile of Fort Anderson. Paine's 
force became actively engaged about 9 A. M., yet continued to ad- 
vance steadily upon the enemy's intrenched lines. Several prisoners 
were captured as the troops advanced. The enemy's first and second 
lines were carried by 11 A. M., and their force driven behind their 
main works. The fire of the naval fleet now enabled Paine's force 
to intrench a new line within five hundred yards of the enemy's 
position. 



1865.1 ADVANCE UPON FORT ANDERSON AND WILMINGTON. 359 

Meanwhile, Ames' division, supported by the 3d division of the 
23d Corps, commanded by Maj. Gen. Jacob D. Cox, v^as advancing 
against the enemy's left, and at the same time attempting to throw 
a heavy force across Myrtle Sound in rear of Hoke's position, by 
means of navy boats and pontoons taken across the narrov? strip of 
land by the troops moving along the ocean beach. A severe storm, 
however, prevented the boats from reaching the position. 

The enemy skirmished sharply along the line of Myrtle Sound, 
but a sudden dash of the 3d N. H., led by Maj. William H. Trickey, 
through an almost impenetrable thicket and swamp, carried their 
first line, completely flanking the force occupying it, and captured 
about sixty men. 

The object of the reconnoissance had been accomplished by 4 P. 
M., a position had been secured nearly two miles in advance of that 
previously held and within seventeen miles of Wilmington, having 
sustained a very small loss in killed and about fifty wounded. 

On February 13, the 97th P. V. was temporarily transferred from 
the 2d to the 1st brigade (Gen. Curtis'), now commanded by Col. 
Eufus Daggett, of the 117th N. Y. With the brigade it had re- 
turned to its former camp, near Fort Fisher. For a few days, the 
weather was very stormy with violent winds, rendering active mili- 
tary movements impracticable. 

It was intended to renew the attempt to cross Myrtle Sound, on 
the night of the 14th, by carrying the boats along the beach, but 
the high winds had so raised the tide as to render it impracticable 
to cross at a time to enable the sound to be reached before daylight, 
when the movement would be observed and frustrated. Had not 
this circumstance prevented, Hoke would have found a heavy force 
between him and Wilmington. 

The subsequent movements against Wilmington, as given in Gen. 
Schofield's report, furnish the best account that can be obtained of 
the services in which the 97th P. V. participated at that time. 
The report says: 

, * * * On the 15th, Cox's division of the 23d Corps, and Ames' of 
the 10th Corps, crossed over to Smithville, where they were joined by Moore's 
brigade of Couch's division, 23d Corps, which had just landed. This force ad- 
vanced along the main road, to Wilmington, skirmishing with the enemy's pickets 
and advanced lines, until the main force of the enemy was encountered, at Fort 
Anderson and its adjacent works. Here two brigades of Cox's division were 
intrenched to occupy the enemy, while Cox's other two brigades and Ames' di- 
vision moved around the swamp, which covered the enemy's right, in order to 



360 HISTORY OF THE NINETT-SEVENTH REGIMENT. [February, 

strike the Wilmington Road in the rear and north of the fort. The distance to 
be marched was about fifteen miles. The enemy, finding himself in danger of 
being flanked — bis cavalry having discovered this movement — hastily abandoned 
his works, on both sides of the river, during the night of February 19, and fell 
back behind Town Creek, on the west, and beyond a line of swamp in a corre- 
sponding position on the east. Port Anderson and its adjacent defences, with ten 
pieces of artillery and a large amount of ammunition thus fell into our hands, 
and the approaches to Wilmington were still further weakened. 

On the 20th, Gen. Cox's forces pursued the enemy to Town Creek, behind 
which he was found intrenched, having destroyed the only bridge. Gen. Cox's 
forces, making a detour, crossed Town Creek, below the rebel position, and 
reaching their flanks and rear, attacked and routed the enemy, capturing two 
pieces of artillery and three hundred and seventy-five prisoners. The next morn- 
ing, he pushed on toward Wilmington without opposition. 

Gen. Terry, who was' on the east side of the Cape Fear River, also found the 
enemy in strong force in his new position. Gen. Ames' division was brought, 
over to the east side, to reinforce Gen. Terry, on the night of February 19. 
Gen. Terry could not make as rapid progress, but he held all of Hoke's force in 
bis front and prevented them from reinforcing the troops which Cox was driving 
before him. Cox reached Brunswick River in the afternoon, and, opening fire 
upon the enemy on Eagle Island, caused them to burn the railway bridge and 
cut adrift the pontoon bridge, setting it on fire at the same time. Securing a 
few of the pontoons. Gen. Cox promptly crossed to Eagle Island, skirmishing 
and establishing outposts on the causeway over the swamp, and within musket 
range of the wharves of the city of Wilmington. The rebels opened fire upon 
them with two Whitworth guns, but Cox's troops soon brought up their ar- 
tillery and threw several shell into the city, silencing the rebel fire. 

The enemy continued to menace Gen. Terry's position during the afternoon 
and evening of the 21st. During the night, they set fire to the property of the 
rebel government, con.sisting of a large amount of cotton, rosin, extensive cotton 
sheds and presses, unfinished iron-clads, three large turpentine distilleries and 
the adjacent wharves, railroad bridges and pontoon bridges, and abandoned the 
city, retreating toward Goldsboro. * * * 

During the night of the 21st, Ames' division moved upon the 
enemy's position at Battery Strong and had a sharp encounter. By 
the aid of Porter's fleet, the enemy were driven out, and the works, 
including nine guns, captured. 

Our forces entered and took possession of the city at 9 A. M. on 
February 22, thus celebrating Washington's Birthday. Few citi- 
zens left the city except such as the enemy forced to enter the ranks 
and follow the retreating army. All able-bodied men hid them- 
selves, but, as soon as the Union forces entered, thronged the streets. 
The ladies were also out in force, and the negroes crowded all the 
avenues. Not a symptom of animosity was displayed by man, 
woman or child. The Union feeling manifested itself quite strongly 



^865-] THE OCCUPATION OF WILMINGTON. 361 

in the city. American flags were brought out and suspended over 
doors and from windows. As he entered the suburbs of the city, 
Gen. Terry was met by a city policeman carrying a white flag, who 
informed the general he was authorized by the mayor to surrender 
the city to the authorities of the United States. Gen. Terry referred 
the truce bearer to Maj. Gen. Schofield, who was then entering the 
city. That officer rode to the city hall, where he was waited on by 
the mayor and some of the city fathers. They were willing and 
ready to give up all their municipal functions. 

Gen. Schofield told them to continue in the exercise of their 
powers for the good of the city; that it was not his intention to in- 
terfere with the civil government more than could be avoided, but 
that he expected the inhabitants to conduct themselves as becoming 
citizens of the United States, to respect the representatives and de- 
fenders of the National Government, to abide by its laws and not 
give aid and comfort to its enemies. The Mayor, John Dorson, Esq., 
assured the general that to the best of his knowledge the majority 
of the inhabitants were loyal and union-loving. Gen. Schofield 
appointed a provost marshal, and guards were at once stationed 
through the city to preserve order and prevent excesses. The in- 
habitants of all ages, sex and color came from the houses into the 
streets, waving their hats and handerchiefs, and with words of greet- 
ing and welcome : " We have been looking for you for a long time ! " 
"You have got here at last." "God bless you," -and many like ex. 
pressions. One ancient dame greeted Gen. Terry and his staff with 
expressions of glad satisfaction, saying: "When I first seed you, I 
thought you was confedret officers come looking up tobacco." 

The colored people seemed beside themselves with joy. All the 
hotels, and nearly all the stores, were closed, and the general ap- 
pearance of the city indicated that the enemy had been evacuating 
for several days. They had destroyed about one thousand bales of 
cotton and fifteen thousand barrels of rosin, but a large portion re- 
mained. 

Fifty pieces of heavy ordnance, fifteen light pieces, and a large 
amount of ammunition were captured; about forty thousand bales 
of cotton were also secured. 

The Union loss, from February 11 until Wilmington was occupied 
on the 22d, was not over two hundred, officers and men, in killed 
and wounded, while that of the rebels was not less than one thou- 
sand in killed, wounded and prisoners. 



362 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. [February, 

About four hundred Union prisoners, that had been brought to 
Wilmington for exchange, and which the rebels could not get away 
again, as Gens. Schofield and Terry were following their retreat in 
close pursuit, were now liberated. These were found to be in a 
most pitiable plight; a large number of them were crowded in the 
hospitals sick, wounded and in a starving condition, most heart 
rending to behold. These famished soldiers scarcely knew how to 
give vent to their joy at the arrival of the Union forces. They 
danced, and sang, and wept, and hugged their old comrades, and in 
every way manifested their gratitude on being rescued from inevi- 
table starvation and death to be again restored to their friends. 
This meeting was of the most touching and affecting character. 
Among them were a number of the 97th P. V. who had been 
captured in the battles in front of Richmond and Petersburg. They 
were in a horribly famished condition. The only names that can 
now be obtained of these are Privates John W. Keeley and Alonzo 
Schuler, both veterans of Company F, captured at Strawberry Plains, 
Va., August 16, 1864, and Private John O'Brine, substitute, Com- 
pany F, who had been marked upon the rolls missing in action at 
Drury's Bluff, May 14, 1864. He was now found a prisoner at 
Wilmington, but for some unexplained cause he was in a very good 
condition, not having suffered from starvation like most of the un- 
fortunates who fell into the enemy's hands. 

A Wilmington correspondent of the Herald, after the evacuation 
of the city, thus writes of the prisoners released : 

The Union prisoners had been confined at Camp Lamb, about a mile from the 
city. Their treatment was worthy of what might be inflicted by fiends from hell. 
Though the arrangements for general exchange have been completed at Rich- 
mond, the starving process goes on. For three days before the evacuation those 
prisoners had not received a mouthful to eat. To the credit of the citizens, many 
attempts were made to relieve them; but the food was in all cases taken from 
them by order of the officer in command, and trodden into the ground before the 
eyes of the prisoners and the citizens. It was thought that four hundred were 
recovered; but many were in a dying condition. All that has appeared in the 
public prints in regard to this matter utterly fails to prepare one for the awful 
reality. After nerving myself for the visit, and trying to picture all the horrors 
while riding slowly over the half mile to the house where they had been collected, 
my brain reeled for the moment when the sickening reality burst upon me. Offi- 
cers came in, and those who never quailed on the field of death, whose cheeks 
had never blanched, there stood aghast, with tears in their eyes, grinding their 
teeth, clenching their hands and thanking God that there was a hell. Pale, hag- 
gard and emaciated skeletons glared on us from glassy eyes where the light of 



1865.] RELEASE OF STARVING AND DYING UNION PRISONERS. 363 

reason was just expiring. With matted hair and skin blackened with pine smoke, 
scarcely covered with the filthiest shreds of cast-off rebel clothing, without 
blankets, and most of them without coats and shoes, half gazed at us with an al- 
most idiotic stare, while the majority could with difficulty be roused from their 
listlessness. Many had forgotten their names; some could be roused and their 
memories quickened by asking them of their homes, their wives and children, 
these magic words bringing them back from the grave into which they were sink- 
ing so fast. Many were dying of starvation, with their hands clutching the bread 
our soldiers had brought them, and as they lay there dying, an old negro woman 
passed from one to another, tenderly smoothing their awful passage to the grave. 
Knowing that the authors of all this misery bad escaped, it was consoling to 
repeat "Yengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord." 

Some extracts from a letter of an officer of the Kegiment will 
serve to indicate that the 97th P. V. was doing its share of the 
important operations succeeding the capture of Fort Fisher : 

* * * The invincible army of Gen. Terry has been winning new 
laurels, and the Regiment, which proudly represents the good old counties of 
Chester and Delaware, has been doing its share of duty, braving its share of 
danger and winning its share of glory. We remained stationed near Fort 
Fisher until February 11, when we struck tents and marched out through our 
lines. Skirmishing soon commenced and continued during a greater part of the 
day. Capt. James Scott, ilth N. Y., of Gen. Penuypacker's staff, was mortally 
wounded and died soon after — a brave soldier lamented by all in his brigade. 
The enemy was driven within his works with little resistance. During the night, 
our troops threw up temporary works within a few hundred yards of their posi- 
tion, where we held them and prepared for advance in other directions. 

* * * After a rest of two days, commenced a series of marches 
and counter-marches, which resulted in flanking the enemy at Fort Anderson, 
causing them to evacuate their almost impregnable works and beat a hasty 
scamper in the direction of Wilmington. We gave them but little lime to rest, 
but were close upon their heels and kept "pegging, pegging, pegging away" at 
their rear until they reached a strong line of works, about five miles from the 
city, where they rallied and made a show of resistance, which lasted scarcely 
twelve hours. We had made every preparation for a determined assault on the 
22d inst., and were fully expecting to take Wilmington by storm ; but, when all 
was ready, intelligence reached our lines that the enemy were evacuating. Forth- 
with an advance was ordered, and, on the anniversary of Washington's Birthday, 
the stars and stripes were borne triumphantly into the city of blockade runners 
amid a great display of Union sentiment and a seeming welcome by the citizens 
which was really worth fighting for. 

* * * The casualties of the Regiment have been slight. Lieut. 
Haines, Company G, and Sergt. Bennett, Company H, died of their wounds, 
received at Fort Fisher. The health of the Regiment is good, and the men 
all eager to follow the retreating foe ; and hoping to be able to record more 
triumphant advances and decisive victories which will lead to a speedy close of 
the war. * * * 



364 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. [March, 

The defences of Wilmington were found to be extensive and of 
great strength, consisting of several formidable lines of earthworks, 
one of Avhich ran through a populous street in the city and appeared 
to have been quite recently thrown up in great haste, and evidently 
intended as " the last ditch." The river was obstructed in several 
places by chained rafts and sunken vessels. Stockades and bat- 
teries had been built on the shore, with the guns bearing upon the 
obstructions. 

Gen. Terry's troops, after entering Wilmington, pursued the 
enemy across Northeast River. Gen. Schofield now made prepara- 
tions for the capture of Goldsboro', leaving Gen. Terry's command 
to occupy the city of Wilmington. He had already sent, by trans- 
ports, to Newbern, five thousand troops, under Brig. Gen. I. N. 
Palmer, with orders to move toward Kinston at once to cover the 
workmen engaged in repairing the railroad. Palmer was soon re- 
lieved of the command by Gen. Cox. Couch's division and Cox's, 
temporarily commanded by Brig. Gen. Reilly, were ordered to join, 
by a land march, the column moving from Newbern. Owing to the 
want of wagons for transportation, it was not until March 6 that 
the two divisions, commanded by Gen. Couch, could be moved from 
Wilmington, via Onslow and Richland, toward Kinston. Cox had 
joined Palmer's force and pushed it to Wise's Forks, below South- 
west Creek; and the work on the railroad was in rapid progress. 
The force in front of Gen. Cox, consisting of Hoke's division and 
a small body of reserves, had fallen back behind Southwest Creek. 
Gen. Cox had sent two regiments, under Col. Upham, 15th Conn., to 
secure the crossing on the Dover Road. The enemy, reinforced by 
a portion of the old Army of the Tennessee, recrossed the creek 
above the Dover Road and came down in rear of Col. Upham's 
position, surprised and captured nearly his entire command — about 
seven hundred men. Hoke then advanced to penetrate between 
Gens. Carter's and Palmer's divisions, occupying the Dover Road 
and the railroad, respectively, but was checked by Gen. Rugers' 
division arriving upon the field. Gen. Cox Avas then directed to 
put his troops in position, intrench them securely and await the 
arrival of Gen. Couch. 

The enemy pressed Cox's lines strongly, on the 9th, and felt for 
his flanks. 

On the 10th, largely reinforced, and doubtless aware of the ap- 
proach of Gen. Couch's column, Hoke made a firm attack upon 



1865.] ADVANCE TOWARD GOLDSBORO'. HOKE REPULSED. 365 

Gen. Cox's left and centre, but was decisively repulsed, with heavy 
loss, and retreated in confusion from the field, leaving his killed 
and wounded; also a large number of arras and intrenching tools. 
During the night, he fell back across the Neuse River and burned 
the bridge. Cox's loss was about three hundred in killed and 
wounded — that of the enemy about fifteen hundred. Gen. Couch 
effected his junction with Gen. Cox on the following day. 

It now became necessary to rebuild the bridge, or await the ar- 
rival of pontoons, to cross in pursuit of the enemy. By the 14th, 
this was accomplished and the crossing effected without opposition, 
the enemy having abandoned Kinston and moved rapidly toward 
Smithfield, to join Johnson's Army, then concentrating to oppose 
Sherman's advance from Fayetteville. 

Gen. Terry's command, at Wilmington, was occupied with the 
usual post and garrison duty. The 97th Eegiment had returned to 
the 2d brigade of the division, then commanded by Col. William B. 
Coan, 48th N. Y. 

On March 15, Gen. Terry received orders to join Gen. Schofield's 
advance, about to form a junction with Gen. Sherman's Army, then 
marching upon Goldsboro', N. C. Col. Abbott's brigade of the 1st 
division, lOth Corps, was left to garrison Wilmington. Brig. Gen. 
•J. R. Hawley was assigned to the command of the district. 

Terry crossed Cape Fear River on the 16th, and arrived on the 
nth at the town of South Washington, situated on the southeast 
branch of Cape Fear River. 

On the 20th, a station known as Mount Olive, on the Wilmington 
and Gaston Railroad, was reached. The 97th P. V. came upon 
recently evacuated camps of the 17th Corps, a part of Gen. Sher- 
man's force, where it encamped for the night. 

Early on the morning of the 21st, the march was resumed. Ar- 
rived at Cox's Ferry, on the Neuse River, and encamped about 3 P. 
M. The 97th P. V. occupied the property of a Mr. J. H. Kirk- 
ham, his stables being used for the officers' horses. The Regiment 
subsequently reoccupied these quarters. It was then reported that 
many of the residents of this vicinity had buried much valuable 
property to prevent its falling into the hands of the enemy. Indi- 
cations were noticed of the stable floors having been recently dis- 
turbed; some men of the Regiment made search for the treasure; 
a box of jewelry, silverware and other valuables was found, of 
which Col. Wainwright took possession. The owner, Mr. Kirkham, 



366 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. t-^-P" 

manifested much anxiety in regard to the occupancy of his buildings 
Discovering that the box had been removed, he made inquiry a 
head-quarters in regard to it. His claim to the property beinj 
regarded well founded, it was restored to him. 

Gen. Schofield's forces had marched from Kinston on the 20tb 
and occupied Goldsboro', with but slight opposition, on the evening 
of the 21st. Gen. Terry's command, marching from the direction o: 
"Wilmington, had secured Cox's bridge crossing, and laid a pontoon 
bridge across the Neuse River, by the 22d, after a march of the 
most extraordinary character of more than seventy miles, ovei 
swamps and rivers deemed impassable to others, at the most incle- 
ment season of the year, drawing his supplies from a wasted country. 
For these movements, Gen. Sherman, in Field Orders No. 35, Head- 
Quarters Military Division of the Mississippi, dated in the field, 
near Bentonville, N. C, March 22, 1865, thanked Gen. Terry and 
his forces for the efficiency and promptitude of their co-operation. 

On the 22d of March, Gen. Sherman's Army appeared, coming in 
on the left, crossed the bridge laid by Terry's forces, at Cox's Ferry, 
and proceeded toward Goldsboro'. Gen. Terry's forces also ad- 
vanced, leaving the 10th Corps behind. 

On the 23d, at 7 A. M., the 10th Corps returned, marching 
over the route by which they came, to occupy the Wilmington and 
Gaston Eailroad, distant about fifteen miles, reaching Faison's Sta- 
tion in the evening, where the 97th P. V. again went into camp, 
very tired of the haclcivard march. The Regiment remained at this 
place nearly three weeks. Four hundred and three recruits and 
conscripts were here received. To prepare these for immediate 
active service required constant drill during every interval from 
other duties of the command. 

On April 10, Gen. Terry's forces again moved upon the enemy's 
lines, taking the route toward Bentonville. 

On the 11th, the 97th P. V. was detached and sent back to assist 
Gen. Kilpatrick's wagon train through the mud. It remained with 
the train as an escort and guard during the march, until the ad- 
vance lines near Raleigh were reached on April 16. On this march 
the Regiment performed most arduous service, having to repair and 
huild bridges and corduroy roads, much of the way being through 
swamp and morass, and over streams impassable until bridged. 
Upon arriving in the vicinity of Raleigh, the Regiment rejoined 
the brigade. 



1865.] JUNCTION WITH GENERAL SHERMAN'S ARMY. 367 

News of Lee's surrender to Gen. Grant, at Appomattox Court 
House, Va., was now received, with intense satisfaction, by the army 
operating in Noi;th Carolina. Upon the receipt of this glorious in- 




m' lean's house, the place of lee's subkendbr. 

telligence. Gen. Sherman determined to force Johnson to surrender 
the second great army of the rebels without delay. He gave im- 
mediate orders to drop all trains, marched his army rapidly through 
Bentonville, in pursuit of Johnson's Army to and through the city of 
Raleigh, reaching that place at 7.30 A. M., on April 13, in a heavy 
rain. The next day the cavalry pushed on, through the rain, to 
Durham's Station, Logan's 15th Corps following as far as Morris- 
ville Station, and Blair's 17th Corps to John's Station, on the 
supposition that Johnson would be compelled to adhere to the 
railroad as a line of retreat. Gen. Sherman had pushed forward 
the left wing of his army, under command of Maj. Gen. H. W. 
Slocum, commanding the Army of Georgia, composed of Davis' 
14th and Mower's 20th Corps, followed by the right wing, under 
command of Maj. Gen. O. O. Howard, commanding the Army of 
the Tennessee; throwing this- heavy force across the bend in the 
railroad toward Ashboro', to intercept Johnson's retreat. Mean- 
while Gen. Schofield was to hold Raleigh and its approaches, with 
the Army of the Ohio, and also to support the movement in pursuit 
ot Johnson, with his spare force, by an intermediate route. Owing 
to the rapid movements and masterly disposition of his forces, by 
Gen. Sherman, Johnson's Army was brought to a stand. 



368 



HISTORY or THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. 



[May, 




PLACB OP JOHNSON'S SUBRENDKB TO SHERMAN. 



On April 26, 1865, 
after several attempts 
at negotiating terms of 
capitulation, Johnson 
surrendered his army 
to Gen. Sherman, at 
Bennett's house, near 
Durham Station, thus 
bringing to an end the 
armed rebellion which 
— through four years of 
persistent effort, in- 
volving untold sacri- 
fices of life and at the 
cost of millions of treasure, exhausting every resource of power and 
prosperity — had waged its desperate and fruitless warfare for the 
overthrow of the Nation. 

After Johnson's surrender, the 97th P. V. was ordered to Raleigh, 
N. C, and was encamped in the vicinity of that city until July 10, 
furnishing guard, outpost and safe-guard details. 

While at Raleigh, the troops were reviewed by Gen. Sherman. 
Brevet Brig. Gen. John S. Littell (colonel 76 th P. V.) being in com- 
mand of the brigade. 

Upon the recommendation of Col. Pennypacker, 1st Lieut. John 
Wainwright, who, as the senior officer remaining with the Regi- 
ment, had been in command during most of the time since October, 
1864, was commissioned lieutenant colonel of the Regiment, and 
was mustered April 19, 1865, to rank from March 14, 1865. He 
had been previously recommended for promotion to captain of Com- 
pany F and to major of the Regiment; but, owing to delays at 
head-quarters, the commissions were not received until after his pro- 
motion to lieutenant colonel. 

Capt. William H. Martin, Company A, was also commissioned as 
major of the Regiment, to rank from January 15, 1865. 

The following details of special duty, upon which the ofiicers of 
the Regiment served, while at Raleigh, Gaston, Weldon, Warrenton, 
and other places, will specify some of the duties performed by the 
97th P. V. 

On May 2, Company H, Capt. Theodore M Smedley, was de- 
tailed, as a permanent guard, at Pettigrew Hospital, in Raleigh, 



1865.] GENERAL PENNYPACKER'S FAREWELL LETTER. 369 

N. C, and remained upon that duty until July 11. The company 
was then ordered, with the Regiment, to Gaston, N. C. 

On May 6, 1st Lieut. David W. Odiorne, Company D, was placed 
in command of Company G, which he retained about one month. 

Seven recruits joined the Regiment, at Raleigh, on May 9. 

On May 12, a general court-martial was convened at Raleigh, N. 
C, by an order of Brevet Maj. Gen. A. Ames, commanding 2d 
division, 10th Corps. The court met at division head-quarters, Col. 
William B. Coan being president of the court. Maj. W. H. Mar- 
tin, of the 97th P. V., was detailed and served as a member of the 
court during its sessions. 

Surgeon Nichols, of the 97th P. V., was appointed chief medical 
officer of the brigade, May 24, and continued in that position until 
July 12, 1865. 

Elwood P. Baldwin, 1st sergeant Company H, was promoted to 
1st lieutenant and adjutant, to rank from May 26, 1865. 

About May 23, 1865, Brevet Brig. Gen. G. Pennypacker — who 
was still confined to his bed, in the Chesapeake Hospital, at Fortress 
Monroe, Va., by the severity of his Fort Fisher wounds — received, 
from the Secretary of War, a commission as brigadier general of 
U. S. Volunteers, having previously received a brevet commission 
for gallantry at Fort Fisher. He, therefore, addressed the following 
message of farewell to the officers and men he had led so long and 
bravely and who had foUovped him so faithfully through many 
battles : 

U. S. General Hospital (Officers' Division), 
Fort Monroe, Va., May 23, 1865. 
To THE Officers and Men of the 97th P. V. 

Mt Fellow Soldiers: Having been appointed, by his Excel- 
lency the President of the United States, to the position of briga- 
•dier general of volunteers, my connection with you, as an officer of 
your organization, has ceased. 

In saying to you, hereby, my farewell, I wish to bear testimony 
to the very kind and cheerful manner with which my demands were 
ever met and to your general efficiency and good conduct. 

But, more than all, I must compliment you for the great name 
you have achieved in your corps and at your homes for deeds that 
were more than brave. You have stood firm where others might 
well have faltered. 

T have been one of your number so long that I think I know 
24 



370 HISTOR"? OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. t^™ 

and appreciate you, and when I ask you to strive to maintain, i: 
the future, the good name you so honorably won and have born 
in the past, I feel that I am not asking in vain. 

The glorious work in which we have been engaged, being so nea 
a complete and successful termination, I must congratulate yoi 
upon the prospect of your soon being permitted to join again youi 
relatives and friends at home. 

You have my warm thanks for your soldierly and courteous bear- 
ing; my best wishes for your future prosperity and success; my 
prayers for your speedy and safe return. Farewell. May the bless- 
ing of Heaven attend you. 

G. Penntpacker, 

Brig. Gen. U. S. Vols. 

Lieut. Col. John Wainwright was commissioned, on June 1, as 
colonel of the Regiment and mustered, by Lieut. B. Seward, A. C 
M., on June 15, 1865. 

Maj. William H. Martin was promoted to lieutenant colonel on 
June 1, 1865, but was not mustered. 

Capt. Leonard R. Thomas, Company C, was commissioned major 
of the Regiment June 1, but was not mustered. 

On June 6, Col. Coan, 48th N. Y., relieved Brevet Brig. Gen. J. 
S. Littell in command of the 'brigade. Gen. Littell being then as- 
signed to the command of the division. 1st Lieut. David Odiorne 
was appointed acting aid-de-camp on the staff of Col. Coan, 2d 
brigade, 2d division, lOth Corps. Brig. Gen. J. S. Littell, com- 
'manding 2d division, was mustered out on July 25, when Col. Coan 
took command of the division. Lieut. Odiorne was then relieved 
from duty upon brigade staff and appointed on division staff, and 
continued in that position until August 16, 1865, when relieved to 
be mustered out with the Regiment. 

Qr. Mr. Sergt. John H. Brower was promoted to quarter-master 
of the Regiment on June 7. 

David R. Cochran, sergeant Company G, was then promoted to 
quarter-master sergeant. 

Caleb Mercer, sergeant Company F, was promoted to commissary 
sergeant, same date. 

On June 20, Maj. Martin was sent to several plantations, about 
twenty miles from Gaston, to settle difficulties between the freedman 
and the planters, the former being unwilling to go to work without 



18851 GASTON AND "WELDON, N. C. DETAILS AND PROMOTIONS. 371 

some guarantee of compensation. He was absent four days, was 
everywhere treated well — called meetings of the freedmen, and gave 
them instructions as to their duties in their new condition. 

On June 21, Maj. Martin was again detailed upon a military com- 
mission convened at Ealeigh, N. C, by order of Gen. Ames, and 
continued to serve upon the court-martial until July 20. 

Twenty-one recruits were received, on June 23, and assigned to 
Company K. 

On July 1 1 , Companies A, B, E, F, H, I and K were ordered to 
Gaston, N. C, on the Roanoke River, at the junction of the 
Gaston and Petersburg Railroad, Col. John "Wainwright being as- 
signed to the command of that post. Companies C, D and G were 
ordered to Weldon, N. C. Maj. Martin being still engaged upon 
duty as a member of court-martial, at Raleigh, the command of this 
detachment devolved upon Capt. William S. Underwood, Company 
K, the senior officer present. 

Near the latter part of July, Companies A, B, F, H and I joined 
the companies at Weldon, leaving Company E at Gaston. Company 
G was sent to Halifax and Company K to Warrenton, N. C, at 
which place the men suffered much from sickness, principally fever 
and ague. 

On July 17, Capt. Dallas Crow, Company B, was detailed as pro- 
vost "marshal during the occupation of Gaston, N. C. The principal 
duty was to administer the oath of allegiance to about five hun- 
dred men, forty women, and a dozen couples previous to their being 
married. 

During the remaining portion of its term of service, the 97th 
P. V. was engaged upon such duties as the exigencies of the situation 
and the condition of the people in their new relations demanded, 
affording protection to the inhabitants as needed. The officers 
were directed to co-operate with the agents of the Freedmen's Bu- 
reau; securing the welfare, peace and order of the district in their 
charge, through maintaining respect to the authority of the govern- 
ment, by all classes. It was found necessary to visit almost every 
section of the surrounding country, in order to inform the ignorant 
freedmen and more ignorant white laborers of their duties and 
rights, under the new order of things; and to urge upon all the ne- 
cessity of returning to labor and the culture of the soil, from which 
they must draw their future sustenance. 

On August 28, 1865, the 97th P. V., after four years of arduous 



372 HISTORY OF THE NINETT-SEVENTH REGIMENT. [September, 

and active duty, was mustered out of the service of the United 
States, at Weldon, N. C, by Capt. Augustus M. Erwin, 48th N. Y., 
Assistant Commissary of Musters. The officers and men then took 
passage upon the cars for Petersburg, and thence to City Point, Va., 
at which place they went on board the steam transport James 
Jerome, for Baltimore, passing Fortress Monroe, Va., on the night of 
August 29. 

The Fortress Monroe correspondent of the Philadelphia Inquirer, 
in a communication to that paper, dated September 1, 1865, thus 
refers to the services of the 97th P. V.: 

Veterans of the Keystone State. — At a late hour last night, the Ninety- 
Seventh Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers, passed out of Hampton Roads and 
up the broad bay on their way to Baltimore. From the latter city, they will 
proceed by rail to Philadelphia, where tliey will be mustered out of the service, 
upon which their gallant deeds of arms have reflected additional lustre. This 
Regiment left the Keystone State, four years ago, under the command of Colonel 
Henry R. Guss. It is now commanded by Colonel John Wainwright. 

Among the veteran legions of Pennsylvania, the old Ninety-Seventh takes an 
honored stand. Their victorious eagles have been borne from Washington to 
Petersburg, from the Peninsula of Virginia to the defences of Charlpston. 

Their wild hurrahs rang out over Morris Island, and their avenging bayonets 
gleamed from the slopes of Wagner and Gregg. From the rice swamps of the 
Palmetto State, they were summoned to the trenches before Petersburg. 

During the last winter of the war, they were sent to force the gates of Wil- 
mington, N. C. They participated in the storming of Fort Fisher, N. C, where 
they were in the brigade of their gallant Colonel Pennypacker. 

On the 22d of February last, they unfurled their battle-torn banner in the 
streets of Wilmington. 

From the latter city, they marched to Goldsboro', where they joined the Army 
of Sherman. With him they swept to the capital of North Carolina, and in its 
shadow they sto.id, proud spectators, as the last organized army of the rebellion 
laid its arms at the feet of the defenders and preservers of Union and Liberty. 

The Kegiment arrived in Philadelphia on September 2, 1865, 
where it was received by crowds of citizens, with demonstrations of 
enthusiasm, music and banners, and guns firing for the heroes of 
Fort Fisher. The number then upon the roster was about six hun- 
dred, officers and men. At the depot. Broad Street and Washington 
Avenue, the line was formed; then marched down Washington 
Avenue to the Cooper Shop and Union Volunteer Refreshment Sa- 
loons, where the men were entertained with the same bountiful pro- 
vision which was extended to the Regiment, four years before, when 
setting out for the seat of war; being now provided for by the 
same untiring hands which had ministered to their comfort then. 



1865.] RETURN TO PHILADELPHIA AND FINAL DISBANDING. 373 

These institutions, of which every citizen of Philadelphia may 
well feel proud, have given to the city a national reputation for 
hospitality and patriotism, which alone would indicate her un- 
swerving loyalty and devotion to the cause in which so many of 
her truest and hest sons have so faithfully served, and to maintain 
which, against traitorous hands that sought the nation's overthrow, 
so many of her bravest and best beloved gave their lives. 

The Regiment then proceeded to quarters at Camp Cadwalader, 
where, on September 4, the officers and men were paid by Maj. 
David Taggert, paymaster U. S. A., and the Regiment was finally 
discharged and disbanded. 

The following is a list of officers who returned with the Regiment 
with their rank and place of residence when first enlisted : 

Field and Staff. 
Colonel. John Wainwright, 1st sergeant, CompaDy P, West Chester. 
Major. William H. Martin, corporal, Conapany A, Christiana, Lancaster Co. 
Adjutant. Elwoqd P. Baldwin, 2d lieutenant, Company H; resigned and re- 
enlisted as private. Company H, West Chester. 
Quarter-Master. John H. Brower, private. Company F, East Vincent, Chester Co. 
Surgeon. Pennock J. Nichols (recently assigned), Londonderry, Chester Co. 
Hospital Steward. Madison Lovett, private. Company A, Colerain, Lancaster Co. 
Quarter-Master Sergeant. David R. Cochran, private, Company U, Media. 
Commissary Sergeant. Caleb Mercer, corporal, Company F, Coatesville. 
Drum Major. John Weber, corporal. Company F, Oxford, Chester Co 
Fife Major. Milton S. Taylor, musician, Company H, West Chester. 
Sutler. George Blanchard (recently assigned), Philadelphia. 
Co. A. Capt. Robert L. Black, private, Coatesville, Chester Co. 

1st Lieut. Franklin Clay Henry, private, Coatesville. 
' 2d Lieut. Joseph Phillips, private, Ridley, Delaware Co. 
Co. B. Capt. Dallas Crow, private, Sadsburyville, Chester Co. 

1st Lieut. David S. Harry, private, Cochranville, Chester Co. 

2d Lieut. John B. Griffith, private, Coatesville, Chester Co. 
Co. C. Capt. Leonard R. Thomas, private, Mortonville, Chester Co. 

1st Li«ut. George W. Abel, private, West Chester. 

2d Lieut. Charles Warren, private, Schuylkill, Chester Co. 
Co. D. Capt. Isaau- B. Taylor, sergeant. Bast Whitelaad, Chester Co. 

1st Lieat. David W. Odiorne, corporal, Ivy Mills, Delaware Co. 

2d Lieut. John W. Brooks, private, Westtown. Chester Co. 
Co. E. Capt. Samuel D Smith, sergeant. East Goshen, Chester Co. 

Lst Lieut. John C. Nicholson, private, Philadelphia. 

2d Lieut. John Sullivan, corporal, Thornbury, Delaware Co. 
Co. F. Capt. Lewis P. Malin, private, Sugarton, Chester Co. 

1st Lieut. Isaac J. Nichols, private, Kimberton, Chester Co. 

2d Lieut. John Elwood Huntsman, sergeant, Edgemont, Delaware Co. 



374 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. [September, 

Co. G. Capt. Washington W. James, prirate, Edgemont, Delaware Co. 

1st Lieut. Isaiah Bird, private, Oxford, Chester Co. 

2d Lieut. Jeremiah Yost, private, Media, Delaware Co. 
Co. H. Capt. Theodore M. Smedley, private. West Bradford, Chester Co. 

1st Lieut. Phares P. Brown, corporal, Guthrieville, Chester Co. 

2d Lieut. Isaac L. Dutton, private, Lower Oxford, Chester Co. 
Co. L Capt. George W. Duffee, sergeant, Leiperville, Delaware Co. 

1st Lieut. William H. H. Gibson, private, Chester, Delaware Co, 

2d Lieut. George ^'. Middleton, private. Lazaretto, Delaware Co. 
Co. K. Capt. William S. Underwood, sergeant, Jennerville, Chester Co. 

1st Lieut. William Sullivan, private, Warren Tavern, Chester Co. 

2d Lieut. John W. Thompson, private, Hopewell, Chester Co. 
About fifty re-enlisted veterans returned with the Regiment, all 
of whom had been promoted as commissioned and non-commissioned 
officers. 

During the term of its service, it was the fortune of the Regi- 
ment to be engaged in front of the three principal cities on the 
southern coast, viz.: Savannah, Ga., Charleston, S. C. and Wilming- 
ton, N. C. It also participated in most of the engagements that 
took place in front of the two principal cities in Virginia — Peters- 
burg and Richmond, as well as in the operations that secured the 
occupation of Raleigh and Goldsboro', N. C. 

It was associated with five of the grand armies of the Union, 
viz.: Army of the Department of the South, Army of the James, 
Army of the Potomac, Army of the Ohio, with Sherman's Army at 
the surrender of Johnson and the occupation of Raleigh,, N. C, 
and at the final surrender of Johnson's Army. 

Many of its dead lie buried in the States of Pennsylvania, Mary- 
land, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida 
and in some of the cemeteries of New York and Long Island. 

While in the Department of the South, the Regiment suff'ered 
much from sickness, such as chronic diarrhoea, intermittent, conges- 
tive and yellow fevers, and other diseases incident to a Southern 
climate. Many of those discharged during the service and of those 
who returned at the final muster-out, had contracted incurable 
diseases from climatic exposure. 

It is unnecessary, as well as impossible, to recount the numerous 
testimonials of admiration and commendation which the 97th P. V. 
has, at various periods, received from commanding officers under 
whom it served, for its promptness, its discipline, its steadiness and 
gallantry in every emergency, which have secured for it a place in 
the front ranks of well-tried veterans. 



1865.J OFFICIAL RECORD OF ENGAGEMENTS. 375 

That the record of this Regiment has not been more widely 
known, in connection with the important events with which it par- 
ticipated, may be owing to the circumstance of its having had no 
special correspondent of some sensational newspaper, to herald to 
the world the gallant deeds of daring and bravery its officers and 
men strove more to perform than to proclaim. 

The official record of the most important operations in which the 
Regiment was engaged is here given as transcribed from the list 
filed in the Adjutant General's Office at Harrisburg. 

Ninety-Seventh Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers. 
Second Brigade, Second Division, Tenth Corps. 

Col. Henry R. Guss; Col. G. Pennypacker, Brig, and Brevet Maj. 
Gen. U. S. A.; Col. John Wainwright. 

Fort Clinch and Fernandina, Fla., March 5, 1862. 

John's Island, S. C June 7, 1862. 

James Island, S. C, June 10, 1862. 

Secessionville, S. C, June 16, 1862. 

James Island, S. C, July 16, 1863. 

Morris Island, S. C, July 18, 1863. 

Forts Wagner and Gregg, S. C, September 7, 1863. 

Swift Creek, Va., May 9, 1864. 

Drury's Bluff", Va., May 16, 1864. 

Chester Station (Foster's Place), Va., May 18, 1864. 

Green Plains, Va., May 20, 1864. 

Cold Harbor, Va., June 3 to 12, 1864. 

Petersburg Heights, Va., June 15, 1864. 

Cemetery Hill, Va., June 30, 1864. 

Mine Explosion, Va., July 30, 1864. 

Deep Bottom (Strawberry Plains), Va., August 16, 1864. 

Weir Bottom Church, Va., August 25, 1864. 

Charles City Road, Va., October 7, 1864. 

Darby Town Road, Va., October 27, 1864. 

Fort Fisher, N. C, January 15, 1865. 

Wilmington, N. C, February 22, 1865. 

Organized at West Chester, Pa., July 25, 1861, by Col. H. R. 
Guss, for three years. Reorganized as a veteran Regiment, at Fer- 
nandina, Fla., March 16, 1864. Mustered out of the service, at 
Weldon, N. C, August 28, 1865. 



376 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH KEGIMENT. 

The Record of the Regiment gives, in addition to these, the fol- 
lowing actions in which it encountered the enemy's forces: 

Proctor's Creek and Fort Darling, Va., May 14, 1864. 

Wier Bottom Church Road, May 16, 1864. 

Deep Bottom, Va., August 14, 1864. 

Sugar Loaf Hill, near Wilmington, N. C, February 11, 1865. 

Fort Anderson, N. C, February 19, 1865. 

Surrender of Johnson near Raleigh, N. C, April 26, 1865. 

The Regiment also participated in the following important sieges 
and captures: 

Siege of Fort Pulaski, Ga., February and March, 1862. 

Capture of Fort Clinch and Fernandina, Fla., March 6, 1862. 

Siege of Charleston, S. C, April 7 to July 7, 1862. 

Capture of Legareeville, John's Island, S. C, June 5, 1862. 

Occupation of James Island, S. C, June 9, 1862, and the reoccu- 
pation on July 9, 1863. 

Siege of Forts Sumter, Moultrie, Johnson; Wagner and Gregg, 
on Morris Island, S. C; July, August and September, 1863. 

Capture of Forts Wagner and Gregg, Morris Island, S. C, Sep- 
tember 7. 1863. 

Capture of Camp Cooper, Fla., February 10, 1864. 

Capture of Woodstock and 'King's Ferry Mills, on St. Mary's 
River, Ga., February 16, 1864. 

Action with rebel cavalry, near Woodstock Mills, February 22, 
1864. 

Capture of Bermuda Hundred and City Point, Va., May 6, 1864. 

Siege of Petersburg and Richmond, Va., June, July, August, 
September, October, November and December, 1 864. 

Occupation of Raleigh, N. C, April 13, 1865. 



RECORD OF RECRUITING SERVICE. 377 




CHAPTER XII. 

Kecruxting Service; First Detail, at Fortress Monroe, Va., 
December 8, 1861; Second, January 1, 1862; Third, Septem- 
ber 2, 1862; Fourth, October 24, 1862, all at Hilton Head, 
S. C; Fifth, at Morris Island, S. C, July 22, 1863. 

HEN the Regiment left West Chester, November 
16, 1861, Companies I and K not having the re- 
quisite number of men, it became necessary to 
adopt means for securing the enlistment of recruits. 
At Fortress Monroe, Va., Col. Guss received au- 
thority to send home a recruiting party. He there- 
fore issued an order, detailing upon that service 
1st Lieuts. Thomas S. Taylor, Company H, and 
Sketchly Morton, Jr., Company I; Sergts. John E. 
Davis, Company D, and R. Powell Fithian, Company K. Those 
officers -were directed to proceed to Pennsylvania and establish re- 
cruiting rendezvous at West Chester and Chester. 

They left Fortress Monroe on December 8, 1861, for New York. 
Lieut. Taylor established his head-quarters at West Chester and 
Lieut. Morton at Chester. They visited various localities in both 
counties, held several meetings, posted hand -bills, giving notice of 
the places of rendezvous for recruits, etc. They succeeded in get- 
ting about twenty-five men, and collected beside a few convalescent 
soldiers who had been left behind sick when the Regiment marched 
from Camp Wayne. Lieut. Taylor was relieved from recruiting 
service, January 10, 1862. After closing his accounts and collect- 
ing his men, Lieut. Taylor started from West Chester, January 20, 
having about thirty men in his charge. Two deserted at the West 
Chester depot. He reported, in Philadelphia, to Lieut. Col. C. F. 
Ruff, and received orders to go by way of Baltimore and Fortress 
Monroe, Va. At Baltimore, he received information, from the cap- 
tain of a boat just starting, that no transportation could be had 



378 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. 

f 

from Fortress Monroe for several weeks. He then reported to Gen. 
Dix, commanding department, who furnished him with the proper 
papers, with orders to return and report in New York. He had m 
his charge a wagon load of boxes for soldiers of the Regiment from 
their friends and some for the hospital. These were a great 
hindrance and expense, having to be carted twice across Baltimore 
and Philadelphia, owing to the mistake of being ordered to take 
the Fortress Monroe route. Upon arriving in New York, after 
much trouble and delay, the men were quartered in the White Street 
barracks, and remained there about a week awaiting transportation 
to Port Royal, S. C. His men were examined, iii New York, by 
an inspecting surgeon. A few were rejected and sent home. One 
was left in Baltimore sick, another in Philadelphia and two deserted 
at Wilmington, Del. 

The first vessel that sailed, and upon which they embarked, was 
the Matanzas, Capt. Liesgang, a clever old Scotch gentleman. 
When only a few hours at sea they encountered a violent storm. 
The voyage was prolonged, in consequence, about two days. Their 
provisions were spoiled by the sea water. Lieut. Taylor obtained 
some from Lieut. Stanzer, of the 100th N. Y., whose provisions es- 
caped damage. Upon arriving at Port Royal Harbor, the vessel 
was ordered immediately to Beaufort, S. C, to land cargo, the men 
not being allowed to land at Hilton Head. This detained them on 
board two days longer, when the vessel returned to Hilton Head. 

Lieut. Taylor found only a few sick soldiers at the camp of the 
Regiment, in charge of Dr. Smith, hospital steward. He received 
orders, at head-quarters, to take command of the camp. After a 
few days, he was ordered to join the Regiment, then at Warsaw 
Sound, Ga., with the men under his command. The detachment 
reached Warsaw on February 12, 1862. His recruits, fifteen, that 
remained of the number with which he started, were then mustered 
into the service. 

In order to keep the ranks of the regiments, serving during the 
war, from becoming reduced below the standard required for com- 
panies and regiments, by loss from casualties and disease, orders 
were issued from the War Department, early in December, 1861, 
requiring the detail of recruiting parties, to consist of two or more 
commissioned officers, with a limited number of non-commissioned 
officers and privates from each regiment, to be sent to the localities 
from which the different regiments were recruited, to serve upon 



RECORD OF RECRUITING SERVICE. 379 

that duty for a period of six months; to be then relieved by order 
or by a new detail for the same duty^. 

The first detail, in pursuance with these orders, from the 97th 
P. V. was made at Hilton Head, S. C, by the following order: 

Head-Quarters, E. C, Hilton Head, S. C, 

January 2, 1862. 
Special Order No. 3. 

In compliance with Paragraph III of General Orders No. 105, 
from head-quarters of the army, dated Washington, D. C, De- 
cember 3, 1861, the following named officers and non-commissioned 
officers are detailed for recruiting service, for the six months ending 
June 80, 1862, and will report to Capt. E. I. Dodge, 8th Infantry, 
Harrisburg, Pa.: Capt. Isaiah Price; 1st Lieut. Sketchly Morton, 
Jr.; Sergts. R. Powell Tithian, John C. Brubaker, Jeff'eris T. 
Massey and John J. Barber, 97 th P. V. 
By order of Brig. Gen. T. W. Sherman. 

L. H. Pelouze, Capt. 15th Infty., 

A. A. A. G. 

Three of the number, detailed in the above order, were already 
upon recruiting service in Pennsylvania, viz.: Lieuts. S. Morton, Jr., 
and J. J. Barber,.and Sergt. R. P. Fithian. 

Capt. Price and Sergts. Brubaker and Massey embarked on the 
Arago, at 9 A. M., January 3, 1862; arrived in New York at 2 
P.M. on the 6th; thence proceeded to Harrisburg, Pa., reporting, 
on January 8, to Capt. R. 1. Dodge, 8th Infantry, Superintendent 
of Recruiting Service in Pennsylvania. The party was, by that 
officer, assigned to duty as follows: Capt. Price and Sergt. R. P. 
Fithian at West Chester, Pa.; Lieut. S. Morton, Jr., and Sergt. J. 
C. Brubaker at Chester, Delaware Co.; Lieut. J. J. Barber and 
Sergt. J. T. Massey at Oxford, Chester Co. They continued upon 
recruiting service at those places during the months of January, 
February, March and April, 1862. But little success, however, at- 
tended their eff'orts, owing to the influences referred to in the second 
chapter of this work. 

The recruits obtained by this detail were forwarded semi-monthly 
to Harrisburg, Pa. Some of them were subsequently forwarded to 
the 97th Regiment, but quite a number were sent to other regi- 
ments, either through being permitted to choose for themselves, or 



380 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. 

from other influences, by which means the 97th Regiment failed to 
obtain the full benefit of its officers' efforts to fill up its ranks. 

The recruiting service was regarded a most onerous duty by those 
engaged upon it; absence from their Regiment became most irksome 
and distasteful, more especially as it was realized that they were 
missing the opportunity of training and the experience of service 
in the field. Capt. Price made several earnest efforts to have his 
party relieved and sent back to the Regiment ; by application to 
Capt. Dodge, Superintendent of Recruiting Service, at Harrisburg, 
and also addressed a letter to the Secretary of War, April 28, 1862, 
urging the granting of his request. About May 5, 1862, he re- 
ceived notice from the Superintendent to collect his detail, close up 
accounts, and report at Harrisburg with the recruits on hand, pre- 
paratory to rejoining the Regiment. 

The recruiting party reached that city on May 6, and were re- 
lieved from that service. Capt. Price was then placed in charge of 
a small detachment of recruits, with orders to rejoin the Regiment; 
started at once, reaching New York, at 10 P. M., where the men 
were placed in barracks at White Street. 

On May 7, Capt. Price reported to Col. C. H. Tompkins, U. S. 
quarter-master, at New York, to obtain subsistence and transporta- 
tion for his detachment. Embarked May 15, 1862, on board steam- 
ship Oriental, Capt. Tuzo, for Port Royal. Sailed fjrom New York at 
9 A. M., with prospect of a safe voyage, until midnight of the 16th, 
when the ship went ashore on Bodice Island, near Cape Hatteras, 
N. C. There seemed no apparent cause for the disaster, which 
could only be attributed to gross neglect on the part of those on 
the watch at the time, or of design. There was considerable alarm 
at first among the passengers until assured of no immediate danger. 
Morning was awaited with irrepressible anxiety. The white foam 
of the surf upon the beach was plainly visible. The surf con- 
tinued to move the vessel still further toward the shore, notwith- 
standing the efforts made by Capt. Tuzo to haul her head off shore 
by carrying a heavy anchor out into deep water, to which a hawser 
was attached, which, being made fast to the capstan, was kept 
taut that the force of the waves might gradually work her head 
off the beach. A large portion of the cargo, consisting of quarter, 
master's stores, was also thrown overboard to lighten the ship, at 
which the recruits for the 97th P. V. worked for several hours most 
faithfully with the other troops on board; but all efforts were un- 



RECORD OF RECRUITING SERVICE. 381 

availing. By morning, the northeast wind had increased to a gale 
and the danger from the storm became every hour more imminent. 
Preparations were then made for landing the passengers, among 
whom were several ladies ; also Gen. R. Saxton, Governor of South 
Carolina, and some members of his staiF; Capt. J. P. Johnson, an 
accomplished seaman and commander of the transport steamer 
Boston, and Mr. Charles Making, chief engineer of the steamer 
Cosmopolitan, the latter having with him a crew of four or five 
men who were tried and reliable seamen. 

When it became a matter of importance to get a hawser ashore, 
to facilitate the saving of life, by reason of the prevailing north- 
east gale and few remaining hours of daylight, Mr. Making over- 
heard the officers (Gen. Saxton, Qr. Mr. Moore and Capt. Tuzo) 
consulting about the possibility and manner of getting ashore, with 
a hawser, upon such a heavy sea. He then reported what he had 
heard, to Capt. Johnson, and said to him if he (Capt. Johnson), 
dared make the attempt, he and his men would join him. Capt. 
Johnson replied, "We both know your five men, and I will volun- 
teer to do it with them." 

They lost no time in setting about their perilous task, which was 
successfully accomplished, though their boat was overturned in the 
surf upon the beach by the violence of the waves. Upon the return 
of the boat from the shore, the ladies and some of the officers were 
next sent off', a line being attached to the hawser to keep the boat 
in control. It was a critical venture, owing to the violence of the 
waves, which every hour became more rough; this boat was also 
tossed over, and only the prompt vigilance of the boat's crew who 
seized the ladies and carried them ashore, saved them from being 
swept away by the dashing waters. A hammock was then swung 
from the cable, by which the remaining passengers were sent ashore, 
one at a time, without touching the water, the shore end of the 
hawser being secured high enough to swing the hammock clear. 
By the time the passengers were all landed it was nearly dark. 
The storm drove wildly against the beach, rendering the prospect of 
an unsheltered night, upon a desolate coast, most cheerless. The 
ladies had been sent to the only habitation on the island, a small 
cabin, about a mile distant. Some of the passengers bivouacked 
under the lee of the sand banks, with their gum blankets, and 
others wandered off to a deserted old cotton house, in sight across 
the flats, and found more comfortable quarters. By next morning. 



382 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. 

the ship had been driven inshore by the gale and the surf, cutting 
its way through the sand until her bow almost overhung the dry 
land. It was now no difficult task to land the baggage of the pas- 
sengers and provisions for sustenance until relief could reach us. 

Capt. Tuzo placed several large sails at the disposal of the pas- 
sengers for shelter, whereupon the recruiting party of the 97th 
P. V. set to work to build a tent, finding plenty of spars upon the 
beach, and soon had comfortable quarters for all. 

Soon after the vessel struck upon the bar, an officer, a passenger 
on the steamer, while passing near the open hold, was thrown down 
by a sudden lurch of the vessel, striking his head against the bottom 
timbers of the ship ; he was picked up senseless and carried to the 
cabin, where he received every attention possible, and, after the 
shelter was prepared on shore, was taken there upon a lounge, still 
suffering much and only partially conscious. When the safety of 
the ship was assured, by the abatement of the storm, he was taken 
on board to more comfortable quarters. It is not known whether 
he recovered or not, nor is his name now remembered. 

After the storm had abated, the crew and several passengers re- 
turned on board the ship, now fast aground and in no possible 
danger. 

Chaplain Whitehead, of the 97th P. V., returning from leave of 
absence, had joined the party at New York. In the labor of pre- 
paring the shelter he was a most active and efficient assistant and 
when completed was rather zealous in asserting the proprietorship 
of his party over the improvised caravansera. A couple of fellow 
passengers, who had kindly fulfilled Capt. Tuzo's request to Capt. 
Price to have a lady passenger's trunk safely stowed in the tent 
when completed, having carried it from the beach, sat it down near 
the middle of the tent; seeing which the ardent chaplain, thinking 
it an innovation of the proprieties of the new domicil, promptly 
ordered them to remove it, which the said individuals, not exactly 
used to such imperative commands, quietly declined to do, whereupon 
the chaplain seemed likely to reassert the order with the force of 
his party to back it; of which he seemed to have no manner of 
doubt, until informed that the gentlemen, in placing it there, had 
only fulfilled a request of Capt. Price, on behalf of Capt. Tuzo and 
the lady passenger, and had no disposition to violate the order of 
the tent. The incident served to show, however, that our chaplain 
would be no sinecurist in a defensive skirmish or a time of danger. 



RECORD OP RECRUITING SERVICE. 383 

Upon first landing, a messenger had been dispatched, by a sail- 
boat, upon an inland passage, to communicate with Gen. Burnside's 
fleet, eithei? at Hatteras Inlet or on Roanoke Island, distant nearly 
sixty miles, in order to have a vessel sent to our relief. 

On May 19, the steam transport George Peabody, Capt. Traverse, 
arrived- from Hatteras Inlet, accompanied by Lieut. W. J. Ellis, 
Assistant Quarter-Master U. S. A., vs^ho rendered efficient assist- 
ance in taking up the passengers and their baggage, returning to 
Hatteras Inlet the same evening. The party remained on board 
the George Peabody until May 22; then embarked on board the 
steam transport Albany, Capt. Levpis, for New York. The Albany 
was one of Gen. Burnside's fleet, and was a miserable unseaworthy 
craft, having the appearance of a canal barge, with an upper deck 
built upon it and engines placed in it, and was not such a vessel as 
any one would voluntarily undertake a voyage in from Philadelphia 
to Cape May with any very certain prospect of returning safely. 
Capt. Johnson had accompanied the party on the tug, intending to 
take passage also; but, seeing how matters looked, remained upon 
the tug. As it was about to cast off, Capt. Price, observing Capt. 
Johnson still on the tug, asked if he was not going along. He smiled 
and replied, " Not if he could help it." Calling a hasty council with 
his men, Capt. Price stated his views of the shaky-looking condition 
of the vessel and said, " I will leave it to you whether we go on her 
or wait for a better-looking ship." They all said, " We are tired of 
staying here. If you will risk her we will." They, therefore, re- 
mained on board the frail craft, which arrived safely in New York 
on May 24. The recruits were placed in quarters, at Franklin 
Street barracks for subsistence, to await another vessel. 

On May 29, embarked on U. S. steam transport Ericsson, and 
arrived at Port Royal, S. C, June 2; applied immediately at U. S. 
Quarter-Master's Office for transportation to North Edisto, where 
the Regiment was supposed to be. Gen. Hunter's expedition 
against Charleston had just sailed for Charleston Harbor. Gen. 
Hunter had boarded the Ericsson as it came in the harbor to meet 
his family who were on board. Capt. Price, desiring to have his 
party join the Regiment without delay, applied to Gen. Hunter for 
permission to transfer his men to the steamer as she lay alongside, 
and was informed by Gen. Hunter that he would with pleasure allow 
him to do so if it were at all certain the troops had started upon 
the march. He thought the best plan would be to go to Edisto and 



384 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. 

from there to Stono Eiver if the Regiment had left the former place. 
Finding no vessel ready for Edisto before June 4, the delay was 
vexatious but inevitable; then embarked on the steamer Cosmo- 
politan, arriving at Edisto at 7 P. M., on the 4th, and found the 
camp of the Regiment in charge of Capt. McConnell, of Company 
E, then an invalid. The Regiment had marched, on June 2, toward 
Charleston. 

On the morning of the 5th, again embarked on the Cosmopolitan, 
which proceeded to Stono River, and landed at Legareeville, John's 
Island, S. C, where the Regiment had just arrived; reported to Col. 
Guss, with party for duty, with the following named recruits: Wil- 
liam Smith, enlisted March 27, 1862; Thomas P. Williams, enlisted 
April 7; William Wilson, enlisted April 17; all for Company K; 
Henry T. Gray, March 10, for Company A, and Joseph Wetherill, 
March 10, for Company C. 

There had been previously forwarded to the Regiment the fol- 
lowing named recruits enlisted by the detachment, viz.: Amos Y. 
Harry, January 1, 1862; James Feely, January 6; Charles L. Gunkle, 
January 13; James N. I'oley, January 13; Aaron J. Phipps, 
January 18,; Theodore Beerbrower, January 21; Sebastian Keeley, 
February 6; William J. McCarter, February 7; Johnson Wallace, 
February 7; Jacob G. Lemp, February 14; Levi B. Walker, Fe- 
bruary 15; Samuel McHenry, February 19; John Welsh, February 
21,; Joseph 41. Montgomery, February 24; Lawrence Fennings, 
February 26, all for Company K; making twenty recruits forwarded 
to the Regiment. 

Four recruits were rejected by the examining surgeon: John A. 
Dodd, Cecil County, Md.; William Bush, Ulster, Pa; Byard C. Daily, 
Chester County, and Dominick Rodgers, AVest Chester. Two re- 
cruits, William Jameson, of Tyrone, Ireland, and Worthington C. 
Hawkins, of Philadelphia, deserted and were never recaptured. 

The next detail for recruiting service was made at Hilton Head, 
S. C, on September 10, 1862, by the following order: 

Head-Quarters 97th P. V., Hilton Head, S. C, 

September 10, 1862. 
Special Orders No. 14. 

In pursuance of General Orders No. 88, from the War Depart- 
ment, Adjutant General's Office, Washington, D. C, dated July 25, 
1862: Capts. Francis M. Guss, Company A; William Wayne, Com- 



RECORD OF RECRUITING SERVICE. 385 

panyK; Sergts. John E. Davis, Company D; Patrick Carter, Com- 
pany E; Lee A. Stroud, Company F; Corps. William H. Martin, 
Company A; Gerhard Reader, Company B; John R. Miller, Com- 
pany C; William P. Hayman, Company I; William E. Davis, 
Company K; Privates Samuel Lloyd, Company G, and Robert L. 
Ainsworth, Company H, are hereby detailed and authorized to pro- 
ceed to West Chester, Pa., on duty connected with the recruiting 
service of this Regiment. 

By command of Lieut. Col. A. P. Duer. 

1st Lieut. John J. Barber, 

By command of Act'g Adjt. 97th P. V. 

Brig. Gen. John M. Brannan, Comd'g Dept. 

Capt. Guss and detachment left Hilton Head, S. C, September 12, 
on the steamer Ericsson, arriving at New York on the 15th; pro- 
ceeded at once to their homes in West Chester and vicinity, where 
they remained for a few days; then reported to Capt. R. I. Dodge, 
8th Infantry, U. S. A., Superintendent of Recruiting Service at Har- 
risburg. Pa. Capt. Guss, with a portion of the men was assigned 
to duty at West Chester, and Capt. Wayne, with the remainder, 
was stationed at Camp Curtin, Harrisburg. Success in recruiting 
was very limited. No notes or record of this service were pre- 
served from which to give a detailed statement. From the com- 
pany records, it appears that on October 12, 1862, three recruits 
joined the Regiment for Company A. These were Henry Albright, 
enUsted September 23, 1862; Robert M. Eisenbeis, September 23, 
and J. Sylvester Young, September 25. On November 18, 1862, 
two recruits joined for Company A: Caleb B. Moore, enlisted Oc- 
tober 16, and Allison Gibson, October 17. 

Capt. Guss and recruiting party were relieved about December 
12, 1862, and rejoined the Regiment, at St. Helena, on December 
25, having in charge the following recruits: Joseph Y. Norton, en- 
listed October 5, 1862, and John G. Herkins, October 22, for Com- 
pany G ; William Miles, October 27, and another recruit, name 
and date not given, for Company K; William Day, October 28, 
for Company A; making in all eleven recruits obtained by the 
detachment. 

Capt. William Wayne did not return to the Regiment, having 
tendered his resignation in consequence of impaired health from 
exposure and malaria incident to the climate of the south. He 
25 



386 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. 

was honorably discharged, on January 19, 1863, by order of the 
War Department. As an officer, he possessed the confidence and 
respect of all and was much beloved by his company. His loss 
from the Regiment was very much regretted, both on account of 
his sterling merit and social worth. ' 

The third recruiting party was detailed, at Hilton Head, S. C, 
about October 24, 1862, consisting of Capts. William McConnell, 
Company E, and George W. Hawkins, Company I ; Sergt. Isaac J. 
Burton, Company A, and one man from each of the other com- 
panies. A copy of the order or a list of the names has not been 
obtained. They were directed to proceed to Pennsylvania to re- 
lieve Capts. Guss and Wayne upon that service. Capts. McConneU 
and Hawkins and their men reported at Harrisburg, Pa., some time 
in November, 1862, and were directed by Capt. Dodge, Superinten- 
dent of Recruiting Service, to proceed to the counties of Chester 
and Delaware and take charge of the recruiting service in that dis- 
trict. It has been found impossible to obtain any account of this 
service, owing to the subsequent death of both the officers above 
named. Their success was quite limited. They continued upon 
that duty until relieved, in April, 1863, and were then ordered to 
return to the Regiment, which they rejoined, at Seabrook Point, 
S. C , on April 25, 1863. 

On July 22, 1863, at Morris Island, S. C, by direction of Gen. 
Gillmore, Capt. D. W. C. Lewis, Company F, and Capt. Caleb 
Hoopes, Company G, were detailed by Special Order No. 422, Head- 
Quarters Department of the South, dated July 22, 1863, to proceed to 
the rendezvous for drafted men and recruits in Pennsylvania, in order 
to receive and conduct to the Regiment the requisite number of men 
to fill it to the maximum number of one thousand and forty men; 
two hundred and ninety being required. The following men were 
detailed to accompany them: Corps. John T. Taylor, Company A; 
Harvey Highet, Company B ; Levis Beidler, Company C ; Hillary 
Fox, Company G ; Privates Abram Fawkes, Company D, and John 
W. Edwards, Company F. 

At 10 A. M. on the 22d, the detail went on board a small steamer 
in Light House Inlet for transfer to the ocean steamship Arago, 
bound from Hilton Head to New York, and due off Charleston 
bar at 2 P. M. The steamer hove in sight by the time the harbor 
vessel reached the bar. The party was soon standing on the deck 
of the steamer in joyous anticipation of meeting their famiUes and 



RECORD OF RECRUITING SERVICE. 387 

friends, after an absence of nearly two years. Adieus were made 
to a few brother officers and soldiers, who had accompanied them, 
who were now to return to duty and danger at the front. The lines 
were cast off and the signal given to start. It was hardly realized 
that their faces were really turned homeward until the la^nd receded 
from view. 

The weather was fine and the steamer made splendid headway. 
There were nearly five hundred on board, exclusive of the wounded. 
Upon comparing notes as to the seniority of commission, in order 
to ascertain the officer entitled to the command of the troops, in 
conformity with standing orders of the Secretary of War, it was found 
that Capt. Lewis was the ranking officer; but, being an invalid, 
he declined to take command. During the first night at sea, Capt. 
Lewis, being upon deck and looking over the side, noticed the vessel 
seemed to strike something floating in the water every few minutes. 
Upon calling Capt. Gadsden's attention to this, he ascertained it was 
cotton bales evidently thrown overboard from a blockade runner, 
which no doubt had mistaken his steamer for a man-of-war and was 
trying to' escape. As soon as it was sufficiently light for observa- 
tion, a line of bales could be seen reaching far away to the horizon 
where a faint line of black smoke indicated the position of the 
frightened blockade runner. The course of the Arago was along 
the outer edge of the Gulf Stream. After a short consultation with 
the officers on board, Capt. Gadsden concluded to give chase and 
gave the order to " 'bout ship.' Arrangements were then made to 
prepare the ship for action. Fortunately, there was on board a ser- 
geant Avith a small detachment of Capt Hamilton's Battery (3d 
U. S. Art'y). The sergeant was placed in charge of the armament 
of tlie vessel, consisting of two thirty-pound rifled Parrott guns 
and two thirty-pound smoothbore pieces. A detail of his men soon 
prepared ammunition for the guns. Details were made from the 
infantry and cavalry troops on board to assist in working them. 

By 8 A. M., the chase was at the utmost speed of both vessels, 
the blockade runner heading for Nassau. The excitement on board 
the Arago became intense as she gained perceptibly upon the fugi- * 
tive. By 12 M., her lower rigging and hull could be discerned, 
her smoke-stack rolling out immense volumes of black smoke, 
indicating that her commander was making every effort to escape. 
But these were of no avail, as the Arago gained rapidly, and by 
3.30 P: M, had closed the distance between the vessels to less than 



388 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. 

three miles. The order was then given to fire a gun as a signal to 
lay to, but there was no disposition to regard the summons. The 
order was then given to put a shot across her deck, which was 
quickly done by the accurate aim of the artillerymen. Two others 
followed in rapid succession. The fourth shot cut the rigging and 
sent the spars down over their heads, when the fleeing craft lay to 
and hauled down their flag (British) in token of surrender. A boat 
was lowered from the Arago, and an ofiicer with a guard sent to 
take possession of the prize thus captured after an exciting chase of 
thirteen hours. She proved to be a Clyde-built steamer, named the 
Emma, commanded by Capt. Leslie, forty-eight hours from Wilming- 
ton, N. C, when discovered — being loaded with cotton and rosin, 
bound for Nassau. In trying to make her escape, during the night, 
they had thrown overboard about two hundred bales of cotton. 

The officers and crew of the prize were transferred to the Arago, 
and a hawser attached to the prize, when the prow of the Arago 
again turned northward. The officers and crew, when brought on 
board the Arago, were found to be the most crest-fallen set of Johnny 
Bulls imaginable. It was their first venture, with the exception of 
the captain, who was an old hand at the business. The prospect oi 
an inside view of a " Blarsted Yankee Prison" was anything but 
agreeable to them. 

The Arago arrived safely in New York Harbor with her prize, 
on Sunday, July 27, creating quite an excitement in that city. 

The detachment, under command of Capt. Lewis, took cars the 
same evening, and arrived in Philadelphia on the morning of the 
28th, at 2 o'clock. Eeported the same day for duty at department 
head-quarters, and were ordered to Camp Cadwalader. 

The officers and men were subsequently permitted to visit their 
homes for a short time. But they remained upon duty chiefly at 
Camp Cadwalader until October 29. At this time, orders were re- 
ceived by Capt. Lewis to take charge of a detachment of men as- 
signed to regiments at diff"erent stations in the Department of the 
South; among them a number for the 97th P. V. He had with him, 
on the return, Corps. John T. Taylor, Company A; Levis Beidler, 
Company C, and Hillary Fox, Company G. They sailed on the 
steamer Kebecca Clyde, from Philadelphia, October 29, and had a 
stormy passage to Fernandina, Fla., where the Regiment was then 
stationed. 

Capt. Hoopes, with Corp. Highet, Company B, and Privates 



RECORD OF RECRUITING SERVICE. 389 

Abram Fawkes, Company D, and John W. Edwards, Company F, 
was placed in charge of a similar detachment within a few days after 
the departure of Capt. Lewis. They left Philadelphia on the trans- 
port Beaufort, about November 4, for Hilton Head and Fernandina, 
having also detachments of men for regiments at the former place. 

Capt. Lewis, with his detachment, having in charge two hundred 
and eighteen substitutes and conscripts for the 97th P. V.f arrived 
at Fernandina, November 5, 1863; and, on November 14, Capt. 
Hoopes arrived with his detachment, having in charge seventy sub- 
stitutes and conscripts, a total of two hundred and eighty-eight men 
for the Regiment. 

An account of the means taken to land these men and bring them 
into subjection to the authority of the officers is elsewhere given; 
also the assignment of the men to the diff'erent companies. 

About the middle of September, 1864, Col. Pennypacker, being 
desirous of having the depleted ranks of his Regiment refilled, made 
application, at department head-quarters, to have an officer detailed 
to proceed to the rendezvous for recruiting service in Pennsylvania, 
to endeavor to obtain the requisite recruits, substitutes or drafted 
men. For this service, Maj. I. Price, of the 97th P. V., was detailed 
in the following order : 

Head-Quarters Department Virginia and North Carolina, 
In the Field, Virginia, September 15, 1864. 
Special Order No. 254. 

* * * The following named officers will proceed to 
the rendezvous of their respective States for the purpose of obtain- 
ing recruits or drafted men to fill up the commands to which they 
belong. Their absence not to exceed fifteen days. 
***** 

Maj. Isaiah Price, 97th Pa. Vols. 
***** 

By command of Maj. Gen. Butler, 

[Signed] R. S. Davis, A. A. G. 

Head-Quarters 10th Corps, September 16, 1864. 
Official. 

[Signed] Charles H. Graves, A. A. G. 

Head-Quarters, 2d Division, 10th Corps, September 16, 1864. 
Official. 

[Signed] R. A. Davis, Captain and A. A. G. 



390 HISTORY OF THE XINETT-SEVENTH REGIMENT. 

Being delayed at Fortress Monroe several days, awaiting transpor- 
tation for the discharged men of his late company, returning with 
him, Maj. Price arrived in Philadelphia and reported at the draft 
rendezvous, on September 26, when the following endorsement was 
placed upon his order: 

Head-Quarters Rendezyous Drafted Men, 
Philadelphia, Pa., September 26, 1864. 
Official. 

[Signed] Charles E. Etting, Captain and A. A. G. 

Upon making application for recruits, and urging Col. Penny- 
packer's desire to have the Regiment filled, Maj. Price was informed 
that nothing beyond the usual course of assignment, by official vdi- 
rection from head-quarters, was possible; that he could only file 
his application and await further notice. He then proceeded to 
Harrisburg, where he had an interview with Gov. Curtin, by 
whom he was most cordially received. The application to have the 
Regiment filled was urged to the best of his ability. The assurance 
was given, by the Governor, that every effort would be made to 
forward the men required to the Regiment at as early a time as 
possible. 

Maj. Price, having been mustered out of service, on Septem- 
ber 17, 1864, was deprived of the opportunity to extend his efforts 
officially beyond the time named in the order detailing him upon 
this service. He had the satisfaction, however, of hearing, soon 
after making his report in writing to Col. Pennypacker, at his bri- 
gade head-quarters, near Petersburg, Va., that sufficient recruits 
and drafted men were received by the Regiment, at Chapin's Farm, 
Va., to give it the minimum aggregate for a regiment. There were 
subsequently received about four hundred and three recruits and 
drafted men, at Faisson's Station, N. C, about April 1, 1865, which 
filled the Regiment to the maximum number. These men had 
mostly entered the service for one year. They were discharged 
with the Regiment, at Weldon, N. C, August 28, 1865. 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF FIELD OFFICERS. 391 




CHAPTER XIII. 

Biographical Sketches of Field Officers who Commanded, and 
SOME of the Staff Officers who Served with, the Ninety- 
Seventh Regiment during the Most Eventful and Arduous 
Period of the War. 

HE history of the Ninety-Seventh Regiment would 
be incomplete if, to the preceding pages, was only 
added the roster of names borne upon its muster 
rolls, that present briefly the record of each ofiicer 
and man who served with the Regiment. 

The qualities of personal character of some of 
those prominent in their connection with the com- 
mand, and with the responsibilities encountered, 
bear so close a relation to the brilliant achieve- 
ments secured, that these may safely be said to have resulted largely 
• from the force of character that gave direction to the movements 
of the Regiment; educating it to the highest standard of capability 
as an effective, reliable force, thus enabling it to reach the enviable 
position it occupies with the invincible host of Pennsylvania and 
national troops. 

To omit some more definite reference to these influences, than 
could be given in connection with the narrative of the service, 
would be a grave disregard of the sources from which the Regiment 
derived chiefly its ability to win the good name and the opportunity 
to wear the laurels that have crowned its efforts upon many fields 
of service during the memorable period of the war. 

It, therefore, becomes the duty as well as the pleasure of the his- 
torian, to present here biographical sketches of some of those thus 
closely identified with the services and success of the organization 
they feel honored in having served with ; claiming only for them- 
selves the motive influence of an honest, patriotic purpose, that was 
alike the incentive to action of all, of whatever rank or position, 



392 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. 

who shared in the toils and duties of the camp, and encountered 
together the dangers of the field. All are alike deserving in the 
remembrance and the gratitude of their countrymen and of pos- 
terity. 

Henry R. Guss, Colonel Ninety-Seventh Regiment Pennsyl- 
vania Volunteers; Brevet Brigadier General and Brevet 
Major General, U. S. Vols. 

Henry Ruhl Guss was born July 28, 1825, at Chester Springs, 
Chester County, Pa. His father, Samuel Guss, also a native of 
Chester County, was of German descent, born July 4, 1796. 
In 1836, he removed to West Chester, where he remained until his 
death, May 11, 1859. He became a large property holder, and 
added much to the improvement of that part of the town known as 
South Walnut Street. He was well known throughout the county 
and held in high esteem. 

Henry R. Guss received his education at the neighboring day- 
schools and at Joshua Hoopes' Academy, in West Chester. It em- 
braced all the branches of a liberal English education. 

Upon the organization of that well-known and favorite volunteer 
company, the National Guards of West Chester, in 1846, he was 
one of its first members. 

On September 11, 1854, he was commissioned, by Gov. William. 
Bigler, as 1st lieutenant of the company, and on June 6, 1859, he 
became its commanding officer, having received a commission, as 
captain of the National Guards, from Gov. William F. Packer. He 
continued in command until the beginning of the war. With his 
company, he then entered the three months' service. 

The organization was well disciplined, and one of the best mih- 
tary companies of the State. Every member of the company, who 
was physically able, entered the army at the outbreak of the late 
rebellion, and all who remained in service during the three years! 
term became officers. 

When the first call for troops was issued by the President of the 
United States, Capt. Guss, with the National Guards, was found 
practically responding to the call. He called out the company and 
received the names of all who desired to volunteer for the service. 

On April 21, 1861, he left West Chester and proceeded to Har- 
risburg with over three hundred as effective men as could be raised 



HENRY R. GUSS, BREVET MAJOR GENERAL, U. S. VOLS. 393 

in Chester County. At Harrisburg, the men were placed in Camp 
Curtin. Three companies were formed of their number and as- 
signed to the 9th Regiment of Pennsylvania Volunteers, under 
Col. Henry C. Longnecker, of AUentown, being designated as com- 
panies A, E and F. 

The commissioned and non-commissioned officers of these three 
companies were mainly selected from the National Guards. Capt. 
Guss was offered a position as colonel of another regiment, but de- 
clined acceptance, desiring to remain with the men he had brought 
into the service. His commission as captain in the three months' 
service was issued by Gov. A. G. Curtin, and designated him to the 
command of Company A, National Guards, 9th Regiment P. V., 
1st brigade, 1st division, of the Counties of Chester and Lancaster, 
and was dated April 24, 1861. 

While at Camp Curtin, Capt. Guss frequently exercised the old 
members of the National Guards in the various movements, which 
were so well executed that encomiums were showered upon the men 
from all sides. Their proficiency in the heavy infantry drill was 
conspicuous. The Guards were considered the best drilled company 
in the camp during their stay at Harrisburg. Their commanding 
officer had been untiring in his efforts to make the men proficient. 

Although entering the service on April 19, 1861, Capt. Gus^ and 
his men were not mustered until the 22d. 

The 9th Eegiment was first ordered to West Chester, where, in 
conjunction with the 11th P. V., it was the first to occupy Camp 
Wayne, preparing for the active duties of the field. 

Leaving Camp Wayne, on May 26, the 9th Regiment was ordered 
by railroad to Hare's Corner, at the intersection of the road leading 
horn Wilmington to New Castle, in the State of Delaware. After 
remaining there about ten days, the regiment was ordered to join 
Maj. Gen. Robert Patterson's command, at Chambersburg, Pa., 
where it arrived, by railroad, on June 7, and went into camp outside 
the town. Here the regiment was brigaded with the 2d and 3d 
U. S. Infty. Regiments and the 13th and 16th P. V. It was the 
4th brigade, commanded by Col. Dixson S. Miles, 2d U. S. Infty., 
in Brevet Maj. Gen. George Cadwalader's division. From this 
time, to the date of its muster-out, the 9th Regiment was continually 
kept on the march and counter-march. It forded the beautiful Po- 
tomac River to the Virginia side, into Berkeley County. The 
National Guards, headed by Capt. Guss, were the first Pennsylvania 



394 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. 

troops to cross the Potomac west of Alexandria. The regiment en- 
camped upon a portion of the battle ground the night following 
the engagement at Falling Waters, Va.; then marched to Martins- 
burg, Bunker Hill and Charlestown, encamping at each place for a 
short period. The term of service having now expired, it was 
ordered, from the latter place, to Harrisburg, passing through 
Harper's Ferry and Hagerstown. The regiment was paid and 
mustered out of service on July 29, the troops returning home. ' 

On July 25, 1861, Capt. Guss received a commission as colonel, 
with authority, from the Secretary of War, to raise a regiment for 
the three years' service, in the (then) 7th Congressional District of 
Pennsylvania, composed of Chester and Delaware Counties. Upon 
his return home from the three months' service, he immediately set 
about recruiting the same. 

He was assisted in this patriotic work by several gentlemen who 
had served under him in the three months' campaign, and who had 
obtained some practical knowledge of the duties of a soldier, and 
by some others whose co-operation he invited, from his belief in 
their ability to promote his object and to render effective service. 

The first company was mustered on August 22, 1861, and the last 
on the 29th of October following. When the necessary equipage 
was furnished, the Regiment was exercised, in company and bat- 
talion drill, by Col. Guss and his field officers, with great assiduity; 
inspections were regularly had, and vigorous measures taken to 
make the Regiment effective. Strict discipline was enforced and 
close attention paid to the cleanliness and health of the men. 

The 97th P. V. was ordered to Washington, on November 16, 
1861, via Philadelphia and Baltimore; thence to Fortress Monroe, 
Va., and subsequently to the Department of the South. It arrived 
at Hilton Head, S. C, on December 15. Here the Regiment was 
brigaded in the Expeditionary Corps, under Brig. Gen. (since major 
general) Horatio Gates Wright. 

Col. Guss commanded his Regiment during the expedition that 
resulted in the reduction of Fort Pulaski, Ga., the occupation of 
Fort Clinch, Fernandina, Jacksonville, and other important points 
on and near the Florida coast, early in 1862, and through the 
arduous James Island (S. C.) campaign, in the following summer, 
with marked ability, as is well attested by the official records. He 
was highly complimented by Gen. Wright and by Col. Robert Wil- 
liams (1st Mass. Cavalry), commanding brigade, for the manner in 



HENRY R. GUSS, BREVET MAJOR GENERAL, V. S. VOLS. 395 

which he manceuvered his command in action, both at Grimball's 
Plantation, June 10, 1862, where he commanded the forces engaged, 
repulsing the enemy, and at Secession ville, June 16, 1862. The 
complimentary letter of Col. Williams to Gov. Cur tin, and the 
orders issued by that officer complimenting his troops, are given in 
previous pages of this history. 

On August 1, 1862, Col. Guss was assigned to the command of 
the most important post in the department — Hilton Head — by Gen. 
Hunter, which command he retained under the subsequent adminis- 
trations of Gens. Brannan and Mitchel until September 22, and 
•from October 30 to November 10, 1862, when he returned to the 
command of his Regiment. He was afterward placed in command 
of the post of St. Helena Island, ■ S. C, where his Regiment was 
sent to recuperate the health of the men, many of whom were 
prostrated with intermittent and yellow fevers. During his ad- 
ministration as post commander, both at Hilton Head and St. He- 
lena, Col. Guss made many warm friends and deservedly attached 
to him his entire command and the civilians at the post; discharging 
his duties to the utmost satisfaction of the commanding general. 

Gen. Hunter, having decided to organize the contrabands of the 
department for service as troops, orders were issued to commanders 
of regiments to forward the application of such non-commissioned 
officers and men as were qualified and desirous of accepting pro- 
motion in the colored regiments; in complying with which Col. 
Guss addressed some inquiries and suggestions to Gen. Hunter, 
which elicited the following reply: 

Head-Quarters Department of the South, 
Hilton Head, Port Royal, S. C, March 11, 1863. 
CoL. H. R. Guss, Commanding 97th P. V., 

Colonel: I am instructed, by the major general commanding, to 
acknowledge the receipt of your communication as to non-commis- 
sioned officers of your regiment, who are reoommended for commis- 
sions in the South Carolina regiments now in process of being 
organized, and to thank you for your kindly interest in the matter. 

None of the non-commissioned officers, serving in regiments 
destined to take part in pending operations in another quarter, will, 
even, if selected for commissions, be relieved from duty with their 
present regiments until after the termination of the operations re- 
ferred to. 



396 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. 

The major general commanding thanks you for your suggestions, 
and will be happy to make these commissions a reward for those 
deservine non-commissioned officers who cannot find the promotion 

■ 

earned by their merit in the regiments to which they belong. 

I have the honor to be, colonel, very respectfully, your most obe- 
dient servant, Charles G. Halpine, 

Tenth A. C. and Dep't South. A. A. General. 

When Gen. Hunter organized his second expedition against 
Charleston, in April, 1863, he assigned Col. Guss to the command 
of the 1st brigade in Gen. A. H. Terry's division of the 10th Corps. 
Upon the return of the expedition, which was unsuccessful. Col. 
Guss was ordered successively to the command of the posts of Edisto 
and Botany Bay. He was relieved at the latter place by Brig. Gen. 
George G. Strong, in June, in order to participate in the active 
movements about to be renewed in the direction of Charleston. 

Upon the cessation of active operations and the withdrawal of 
Gen. Hunter's command, about May 1, 1863, before receiving notice 
of his appointment to the command of Botany Bay, Col. Guss, 
having served continually since November 16, 1861, applied for 
twenty days' leave of absence, in order to visit his home. This ap- 
plication was forwarded to Gen. Hunter's head-quarters through 
Brig. Gen. T. G. Stevenson, commanding United States forces on 
the Edisto. It was by Gen. Hunter referred to Brig. Gen. A. H. 
Terry, for his examination and return, as follows- 

KB., 765, D. S., 1863. 

Respectfully referred to Brig. Gen. A. H. Terry for his recom- 
mendation. This application shows on its face that Col. Guss made 
it before being aware of having been placed in command of Botany 
Bay Island. « 

By command of Maj. Gen. Hunter, 

Received May 8, 1863. Charles G. Halpine, A. A. G. 

This was returned, by Gen. Terry, endorsed as follows: 

Head-Quarters United States Forces, Hilton Head, S. C. 

May 9, 1863. 
Respectfully forwarded with the recommendation that leave be 
granted to this very exemplary and deserving officer. 

Alfred H. Terry, 

Brig. Gen. Commanding Post. 



HENRY R. GtTSS, BREVET MAJOR GENERAL, IT. S. VOLS. 397 

The application was returned from department head-quarters, en- 
dorsed as follows : i 

I E. B., 805, D. S., 1863. 

Head-Quarters Department of the South, Hilton Head, S. C, 

May 11, 1863. 

Respectfully returned through Gen. Thomas G. Stevenson. The 
services of Col. Guss cannot be spared, at the present time, from 
the command of Botany Bay Island. » * » 

By command of Maj. Gen. Hunter. 

Charles G. Halpine, A. A. G. 

About this time. Gen. Hunter was relieved of the command of 
the department, by Brig. Gen. Q. A. Gillmore, who immediately 
commenced active operations on James, Folly and Morris Islands. 
Col. Guss was again entrusted with a most important command, that 
of the 1st brigade, 1st division, 10th Corps, on Morris Island, which 
position he held, without interruption, during the arduous and active 
operations that followed, including the assaults upon and the siege 
of Forts Wagner and Gregg, in which his command actively parti- 
cipated until the entire island was wrested from the enemy. 

It is sufficient testimony to the courage and ability of Col. Guss, 
to know that he was selected by Gen. Gillmore to lead the "forlorn 
hope " in the final assault of Forts Wagner and Gregg, on the morn- 
ing of September 7, 1863, the storming party to consist of the 97th 
P. V. and the 3d N. H., both of his brigade. He was highly com- 
plimented, by Gens. Gillmore and Terry, for his promptness and 
gallantry in leading his command to the attack, the evacuation not 
being discovered until his forces reached the parapet of the works. 

On October 1, 1863, Col. Guss, with the 97th P. V., was ordered 
to Fernandina, Fla., where he was directed to relieve the command- 
ing officer at that post and to take command of the United States 
forces at that place. He administered his responsible and delicate 
duties courteously and impartially, to the satisfaction of both the 
army and the citizens, and deservedly attained the respect and con- 
fidence of the entire community. He retained command of the 
post of Fernandina until April 1, 1864, when he received his first 
leave of absence to accompany the re-enlisted veterans of his Regi- 
ment home on a thirty days' furlough. 

He rejoined the Regiment on May 14, 1864. Gen. Gillmore im- 
mediately assigned him to the command of the 1st brigade, 3d divi- 



398 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. 

sioii, 10th Corps, then with Gen. Butler's Army of the James at 
Bermuda Hundred, Va. 

He retained this position, during the active operations on the 
south side of the James, until June 2, 1864, when, for reasons of a 
personal nature — which being known to the officers of the Regiment, 
who, while deeply regretting, admitted the necessity of the step — he 
tendered his resignation, which was duly accepted by the command- 
ing general on June 22. He accordingly returned home, parting 
with the officers and men just as the Regiment was leaving camp, 
at Bermuda Hundred, to return to the front of Petersburg, on June 
23, 1864. All felt deeply sensible of having lost an officer who had 
been to them a true friend. 

In the record of the Regiment organized in the 7th Congressional 
district, the people have just cause of pride; the brave and self- 
sacrificing conduct of its officers and men in the field will never 
be forgotten by them. But it must be borne in mind that the or- 
ganization owes its formation, and in great part its subsequent effi- 
ciency and good discipline, to Col. Guss, its first commanding officer, 
who brought it to such a state of perfection as to entitle it to be 
recognized as second to none in the old 10th Corps. 

By the officers and men of his Regiment and brigade he was 
highly esteemed both as a gentleman and soldier. His bravery and 
patriotism in the field were only equalled by his gentlemanly deport- 
ment and kindness at home. There he has always been known as 
an unpretending and unobtrusive citizen; in the service he was dis- 
tinguished as an unpretending yet efficient soldiet. The charac- 
teristics that made him popular at home served him better in the 
field, being emphatically a man of deeds, not words. Deeds there 
availed far more than words. He was in all the battles, skirmishes, 
sieges and captures in which his command was engaged until his 
discharge. In action he was cool and brave, and always ma- 
noeuvered his troops to the best advantage. He was one of the 
senior colonels from Pennsylvania, who entered the three years' 
service, and was one of the most efficient officers, as a brigade com- 
mander, in the old 10th Corps. 

On May 21, 1867, upon the recommendation of the Hon. John 
M. Broomall, member of Congress from the district, Col. Guss re- 
ceived promotion from the Secretary of War, Hon. Edwin M. Stan- 
ton, to brevet brigadier general, and on June 17, 1867, to brevet 
major general U. S. Vols, to date from March 13, 1865, "for faithful 




^'ijlirHMUS Sm,^f2MwllSt- 



jrr 




^,-<^<-^c^^&nr 



G. PENNYPACKER, BREVET MAJOR GENERAL, U. S. ARMY. 399 

and meritorious services in the field during the war," commissions 
being received August 5, 1867. The following is the letter of Mr. 
Brooraall, upon which these promotions were issued : 

Washington, D. C, May 17, 1867. 
Hon. Edwin M. Stanton. 

Sir: I have the honor most respectfully to ask that the brevet 
appointments of Brigadier and Major General of Volunteers may 
be conferred on Henry R. Guss, late colonel of the 97 th Regiment 
Pa. Vols., a gallant and brave officer, for meritorious services in the 
field during the war. 

Enclosed please find a short statement of the services of Col. 
Guss, which I hope may meet favorable consideration. 

[Signed] John M. Broomall, M. C. 

Gen. Guss continues to reside in West Chester, which has always 
been his home, where he is respected as a worthy unobtrusive citi- 
zen,, who never sought or held civil office. 

Galusha Pennypacker, Colonel Ninety-Seventh P. V., Briga- 
dier General and Brevet Major General, U. S. V.; Colonel 
Sixteenth Infantry, U. S. Army, and Brevet Brigadier 
General and Brevet Major General, U. S. Army. 

The primogenitor of the family of Pennypacker, in America, was 
Heinrich Pannebacker, who was born in March, 1674, probably 
near Crefelt, on the Ehine, emigrated to Pennsylvania prior to the 
year 1702, and settled on Skippack Creek, in Philadelphia (now 
Montgomery) County. 

Heinrich was naturalized in 1730, and died April 4, 1754, aged 
eighty years and two weeks. His descendants settled principally in 
the adjacent counties of Montgomery, Berks and Chester, though 
various members of the later generations found their way into Vir- 
ginia, Kentucky, Tennessee and Mississippi, their names being found 
upon the records of those States in connection with positions of im- 
portance and trust. Some of the family have left their names upon 
the rolls, showing that they had served their country during the 
Revolutionary contest and the War of 1812-15. 

Matthias Pennypacker, a grandson of Heinrich, removed from 
Skippack in 1774 and purchased a mill on Pickering Creek, in 
Chester County. He was a bishop of the sect of Mennonites, a 



G. PENNTPACKER, BREVET MAJOR GENERAL, U. S. ARMY. 401 

State. Pennypacker, therefore, soon became thoroughly proficient 
in the various movements, evolutions and discipline requisite to the 
perfection of soldierly training. 

The writer's, first acquaintance with the subject of this sketch 
began, in the printing ofiice, previous to the war. Frequent business 
transactions with the ofiice gave opportunity for observing his de- 
portnjent and business qualities. These were noticed to be of the 
first order, evincing reliability in whatever depended upon his care. 
It became preferable to entrust the required business to his hands, 
thereby insuring its prompt and correct fulfillment. His life out- 
side the printing office had also been somewhat observed. His de- 
portment was ever genial, cheerful, correct and manly in all respects, 
indicating a healthy and robust nature that enjoyed life fully, with 
heart and conscience untroubled and unembittered by any evil in- 
fluences. After three years of active service together, with better 
opportunity for observation, these qualities were found to be the 
leading distinguishing traits in his military career, contributing 
largely to that success in the performance of every duty, which has 
secured for him unperishing fame and honor as one of the nation's 
defenders. 

In the wider, more arduous and responsible sphere of duty upon 
the field, there was called forth every energy of his young and 
ardent nature, in the fulfillment of trusts from which more expe- 
rienced heads and maturer years might well shrink. To these he 
brought the same prompt energy and application that characterized 
his earlier work, and accepted the sterner duties which the pa- 
triotism of his heart recognized as demanding the best eff'orts of 
his life. 

These observations are recalled, at the threshold of this sketch of 
his military service, not for the mere purpose of eulogy, but to 
indicate those qualities that had been recognized, appreciated and 
regarded with great satisfaction when entering the service, as giving 
assurance of reliability in the officer selected to fiU the third place 
in command of the Regiment. 

When the news of the firing upon Fort Sumter reached West 
Chester, that locality shared in the general uprising of a loyal 
people in defence of nationality. 

Young Pennypacker, then in his nineteenth year, was one of the 
number who marched with Capt. H. R. Guss' Company to Harris- 
burg in response to the call of the President for troops. He had 
26 



402 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. 

previously been appointed a sergeant in the National Guards. The 
company was assigned to the 9th P. V., and designated as Company 
A. Upon the organization of the 9th Regiment, at Harrisburg, on 
April 22, Sergt. Pennypacker was appointed quarter-master sergeant 
of the regiment, declining the 1st lieutenancy of Company A, on 
account of his youth, which position his company had elected him 
to fill — and was acting regimental quarter-master during most of the 
three months' service. He brought to the discharge of the duties 
of his position such admirable administrative ability and attention 
as elicited approbation from the entire command. 

The regiment being assigned to the command. of Maj. Gen. 
Robert Patterson, advanced with his column into Maryland and was 
engaged in the defence of the border counties of Pennsylvania and 
Maryland; principally in the vicinity of Wiiliamsport, Harper's 
Ferry, Martinsburg and other localities on the Upper Potomac. 

On July 29, 1861, Qr. Mr. Sergt. Pennypacker was honorably 
discharged with his regiment at Harrisburg, upon the expiration 
of its term of service. 

While returning to West Chester, he received authority, from 
Col. H. R. Guss, to enlist the first company for a regiment that 
officer had been authorized by the Secretary of War to recruit. 
Such was the confidence in his capacity and discretion as to prompt 
his selection for the first place in the line of company officers. 

Gathering about him some of the best young men who had shared 
in the three months' campaign, Capt. Pennypacker began the or- 
ganization of his comp9,ny. * 

On August 22, 1861, he was mustered into the service of the 
United States, for three years, as captain of Company A, 97th 
P. v., with eighty-three men, and on August 30 his company was 
filled to the maximum number. 

It first encamped in Everhart's Grove, West Chester, where it 
was properly organized and equipped, under his personal super- 
vision, and entered upon the course of drill and discipline which 
soon made it one of the most efficient companies in the service. 
Upon the occupation of Camp Wayne, after the organization of other 
companies for the Regiment, Capt. Pennypacker was placed in com- 
mand of the camp, thus entering upon a more extended range of 
duties and responsibilities. To these it was soon apparent he would 
bring that earnest and persistent attention to every detail of duty 
requisite to and which becomes an essential element in all success. 



402 HISTORY OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. 

previously been appointed a sergeant in the National Guards. The 
company was assigned to the 9th P. V., and designated as Company 
A. Upon the organ^ization of the 9th Regiment, at Harrisburg, on 
April 22, Sergt. Pennypacker was appointed quarter-master sergeant 
of the regiment, declining the 1st lieutenancy of Company A, on 
account of his youth, which position his company had elected him 
to fill — and was acting regimental quarter-master during most of the 
three months' service. He brought to the discharge of the duties 
of his position such admirable administrative ability and attention 
as elicited approbation from the entire command. 

The regiment being assigned to the command . of Maj. Gen. 
Robert Patterson, advanced with his column into Maryland and was 
engaged in the defence of the border counties of Pennsylvania and 
Maryland; principally in the vicinity of Williamsport, Harper's 
Ferry, Martinsburg and other localities on the Upper Potomac. 

On July 29, 1861, Qr. Mr. Sergt. Pennypacker was honorably 
discharged with his regiment at Harrisburg, upon the expiration 
of its term of service. 

While returning to West Chester, he received authority, from 
Col. H. R. Guss, to enlist the first company for a regiment that 
officer had been authorized by the Secretary of War to recruit. 
Such was the confidence in his capacity and discretion as to prompt 
his selection for the first place in the line of company officers. 

Gathering about him some of the best young men who had shared 
in the three months' campaign, Capt. Pennypacker began the or- 
ganization of his comp9,ny. * 

On August 22, 1861, he was mustered into the service of the 
United States, for three years, as captain of Company A, 97th 
P. v., with eighty-three men, and on August 30 his company was 
filled to the maximum number. 

It first encamped in Everhart's Grove, West Chester, where it 
was properly organized and equipped, under his personal super- 
vision, and entered upon the course of drill and discipline which 
soon made it one of the most efficient companies in the service. 
Upon the occupation of Camp Wayne, after the organization of other 
companies for the Regiment, Capt. Pennypacker was placed in com- 
mand of the camp, thus entering upon a more extended range of 
duties and responsibilities. To these it was soon apparent he would 
bring that earnest and persistent attention to every detail of duty 
requisite to and which becomes an essential element in all success. 



G. PENNYPACKER, BREVET MAJOR GENERAL, U. S. ARMY. 403 

Immediately after being mustered into the service, Capt. Penny- 
packer was authorized, by Lieut. Col. (since brevet brigadier general) 
C. F. Ruff, U. S. A., mustering- officer at Philadelphia, to muster 
the officers and men of the remaining companies of the Regiment, 
which service he performed to the entire satisfaction of that officer. 

Soon after the occupation of Camp Wayne, Capt Pennypacker 
was designated major of the Regiment, by Col. H. R. Guss, in which 
grade he was mustered on October 7, 1861. 

As other companies were being organized, Maj. Pennypacker 
gave attention to the proper making out of requisitions for subsis- 
tence for the troops, for the arms, accoutrements and equipment of 
the men, and for the necessary camp and garrison equipage for 
the Regiment, and to the proper distribution thereof to the com- 
panies. Giving instructions to the company officers relative to the 
accounts to be kept, and the necessary vouchers, etc., to be filed for 
future and final settlement of their responsibilities to the govern- 
ment ; he was careful to impress upon each officer under his command 
the importance of this duty and the necessity for perservation of 
the original muster rolls and records of their companies. 

His experience as acting quarter-master in the three months' 
service — applied efficiently and practically, as Maj. Pennypacker 
always applied whatever ability he possessed, to the advancement 
of every purpose or duty devolving upon him — was of eminent ad- 
vantage to the Regiment. In addition to other duties at Camp 
Wayne, Maj. Pennypacker found time to devote much attention to 
the preliminary drill and preparation requisite to qualify the Regi- 
ment for active service. In the prompt attention given to every 
detail of duty there was manifest a proficiency from which it was 
evident, before leaving Camp Wayne, that should the exigencies 
of the service devolve the command of the Regiment upon its junior 
field officer, he would be found in every respect competent and 
qualified. 

Leaving Camp Wayne, November 16, 1861, his Regiment was 
first ordered to Washington ; thence, after a few days, to Fortress 
Monroe, Va., remaining there until December 8, 1861 ; then ordered 
to the Department of the South, arriving at Port Royal, S. C, 
December 15, joined the troops at Hilton Head, S. C. In the 
transfer of the Regiment, from the points named, Maj. Pennypacker . 
was prompt in co-operation with his commanding officer and ren- 
dered efficient aid in the embarking and disembarking of the troops. 



404 HISTORT OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. 

During the voyage to Port Royal, prolonged several days beyond 
the usual time by a storm, Maj. Pennypacker's presence among 
the men, in his round of inspecting their quarters and condition, 
was greeted with such pleasure as men fresh from their homes, in 
their first experiences with the hardships and privations attending 
the new duties before them, naturally would welcome the pleasant 
face and the cheering word that manifested an interest in their 
welfare, on the part of their young commander, who had already 
won their confidence and regard. 

In January, 1862, he was detailed upon a general court-martial, 
convened at Hilton Head, S. C, by order of Gen. Sherman. 

With his Regiment, in Gen. H. G. Wright's brigade, he partici- 
pated in the operations against Fort Pulaski, with that portion of 
the force that engaged the attention of the enemy at Warsaw Sound, 
Ga. The troops remained upon the vessel for several weeks; much 
fatal sickness ensued. Under such circumstances, with the best 
care and discipline, men often become more or less demoralized in 
feeling toward those having command over them. In those trying 
days, the presence and influence of Maj. Pennypacker, young in 
years yet ripe in the wisdom of feeling for those under his command, 
was ever salutary and inspiring; disarming discontent and repining 
at inevitable discomfort, by the kind interest and appreciation mani- 
fested in efforts to relieve, as far as possible, their condition. When 
passing among the men, on the transports, it was evident in every 
face, that met the genial, youthful glow of his, how welcome his 
presence was to them. This testimony is borne by many in the 
ranks. Yet he was always decided and firm in all the requirements 
of duty, exacting rigorous and faithful performance thereof from 
every officer and soldier under his command, securing the confidence 
and respect af all. 

Fort Clinch, Fernandina and Jacksonville, Fla., were next occu- 
pied by Geii. Wright's forces. At the latter place, Maj. Penny- 
packer was engaged with his Regiment upon important duty at the 
front, as picket guard, reconnoitering the enemy's position, and in 
repelling their attempts to regain possession of the place. 

In command of scouting parties, Maj. Pennypacker manifested 
energy and efficiency becoming one of maturer years. He also co- 
operated actively with his commander. Col. H. R. Guss, in keeping 
up the regular drill and discipline of the command at that post, 
within sound of the drums in the enemy's camp. Following the 



G. PENNTPACKER, BREVET MAJOR GENERAL, U. S. ARMY. 405 

evacuation of Jacksonville, Gen. Wright's brigade vs^as ordered to 
North Edisto to prepare for the advance upon Charleston, S. C. 
During these movements, Maj. Pennypacker vs^as constantly upon 
duty with his Regiment. By close and careful study of the pre- 
scribed military tactics and the revised army regulations, he had 
thoroughly qualified himself for every duty which he might be 
called upon to fulfill. He was, therefore, prepared to exercise the 
Regiment, and if need be the brigade, in the most intricate move- 
ments with the readiness of a veteran officer. 

In the first advance upon Charleston, early in June, 1862, he 
marched with his Regiment across John's Island, S. C, and was 
with it upon the reconnoissance, made on the left flank of the ad- 
vancing column, on June 7, to ascertain the position and strength 
of the enemy, and was engaged in the skirmish with their cavalry 
scouts, when some prisoners were captured. 

During the occupation of James Island, S. C, from June 9 to 
July 6, 1862, he was constantly engaged upon active duty in the 
presence of the enemy, whose lines were quite close to our own. 
The picket duty was rendered most arduous and perilous, by the un- 
usual severity of the firing on both sides and the evident determi- 
nation of the rebels to render the occupation of James Island most 
difficult and precarious; the rebel forces frequently attacking the 
fines during the night with great vigor. Maj. Pennypacker was 
always present with his Regiment when detailed upon this duty and 
contributed, in a great degree, by his coolness and unflinching 
courage, to secure the steady and unwavering line which the 97th 
P. V. always presented to the enemy. 

On June 10 and 16, in the actions at Grimball's Plantation and 
Secession ville, Maj. Pennypacker was at his post, actively co-ope- 
rating with his brave and judicious commander, Col. H. R. Guss, 
and by his self possession and admirable bearing in the thickest of 
the fight, was an influence of inspiration and courage to the men, 
tending largely to secure the brilliant record made by the Regiment 
upon both occasions. The details of these actions being fully given, 
in other pages of this work, will make unnecessary any further 
reference here. • 

In the engagement at Secessionville, when the disaster of an un- 
successful assault became a test to both officers and men, Maj. 
Pennypacker was remarked for his calm, clear and cool judgment 
and bearing in the performance of his duty, thereby increasing the 



406 HISTOET OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH REGIMENT. 

confidence already felt in him as an officer whom reverses could not 
swerve from any duty or danger. 

Upon the evacuation of James Island, Gen. Wright's brigade 
again occupied Edisto. A short interval of relief from active ser- 
vice ensued, during which Maj. Pennypacker rendered efficient as 
sistance in perfecting the training and discipline of his Regiment, 
to prepare it for still more efi'ective usefulness in the field. 

On August 18, 1862, the Regiment returned to Hilton Head, 
S. C. Col. Guss being assigned to the command of that post and 
Lieut. Col. Duer detailed upon court-martial, at Beaufort, S. C, the 
command of the Regiment devolved upon Maj. Pennypacker, the 
duties of which were fulfilled with marked ability and faithfulness. 

An incident may serve to show the estimation he had unobtru 
sively gained with officers of rank and influence in the department, 
who had observed him in the performance of his official duties. 
The writer being present at a meeting of officers serving in the de- 
partment — convened at that post, by the lamented Maj. Gen. O. M. 
Mitchel, for the purpose of personal acquaintance and intercourse 
with the officers of his command — was conversing with Col. H. R. 
Guss when Brig. Gen. (now major general) A. H. Terry came up 
and exchanged salutations of friendly greeting with bo